Is It Time To Blow The Dust Off Your Safety Manual?

I’m finishing up a review of a client’s safety policies and procedures, and it got me thinking – why do we even have manuals?  I’ve done a number of these reviews and read a lot of manuals.  I’ve decided it is time to rethink how we manage our policies and procedures.   We still need manuals but there is a real need for companies to think through what their purpose is and whether our existing documents meet that purpose.  Here are a four key issues to consider:

Safety manuals tell your story, but what story do they tell?  A few years ago, I got a call from a company that said its manual needed tweaking.   What I found was a monster that took up two massive binders, with loose pages stuck in here and there.  It had been added to, revised and updated until it contained about two feet of gibberish.  Most of it only existed as paper copies with no electronic versions.   Continue reading “Is It Time To Blow The Dust Off Your Safety Manual?”

Three Weeks Until Deadline for OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping…Or Not!

OSHA has said that its new requirement for companies to submit injury and illness reports electronically kicks in on December 1.   But before we get into that, a quick question:

What is a leading cause of safety failures when we institute changes in the workplace?  How about that we fail to communicate the changes to the people on the ground who actually have to implement them?

Keep that in mind as we look at the weird, convoluted path this new requirement is taking.   Continue reading “Three Weeks Until Deadline for OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping…Or Not!”

Supervisor Training – The Safety Guys Weigh In

Supervisor training is becoming a hot topic as companies look for ways to raise productivity and reduce costs.   Last week I had the pleasure of leading a discussion at the  ASSE Bayou Chapter meeting in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

The main question I asked them was this: Based on what you see going on in the field, what should a training program teach your supervisors to help make them effective? Continue reading “Supervisor Training – The Safety Guys Weigh In”

Safety – Our Common Language During Tense Times

In November, the leaders of the United States and China, the two most powerful countries on Earth, will meet.  President  Trump and President Xi Jinping sit down together at a time of mounting tension over international trade and maritime boundaries.

This may be a good time to remind ourselves of the thing every country shares – Maritime safety.   I am honored that Maritime Executive has published an essay I wrote on why that international commitment to safety is so important.

You can read it here.


Supervisor Training – The Training That Pays For Itself.

Companies are spending more on training each year, more than $1200 per employee according to training industry surveys.  But what do we spend it on?  For many companies the biggest chunk goes to new hire orientation training and annual refresher compliance training.   But smart companies know that is not where they get their biggest return on investment.  It is in supervisor and manager training.

A recent study looked at investments in supervisory training and how it turned around one company’s bottom line.  Researchers started a supervisory class at a U.S. hotel chain and then they measured the impact on the rest of the staff.   Here is what they found: Continue reading “Supervisor Training – The Training That Pays For Itself.”

Does Safety Management Get In The Way Of Safety Leadership?

What’s the difference between management and leadership?  MBA classes can debate that to death (believe me, I know first hand).  If you run a safety department, it is something you should be asking yourself.  Two of the biggest trends of the last few years have been the growth of safety management, as in safety management systems and Safety Leadership, as in, “Safety leadership starts at the top.”  A lot of the time, we use the words interchangeably.

But it is important to understand the difference.   Continue reading “Does Safety Management Get In The Way Of Safety Leadership?”