Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

A Reset

In the heat of the battle, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: what you’re trying to accomplish, and exactly where you stand in the process. That’s the value of doing what we like to call a “reset” – hitting the pause button and reminding yourself of what’s going on. Now seems like a good time to do a reset on your safety meetings and The Flash.

A safety meeting is an example of a Moment of High Influence: it’s one of those situations where followers pay attention to what their leaders are saying and doing. If your followers are falling asleep in your safety meetings, you might not think that’s one of those Moments. But if you pause, and reflect on the message you are sending about your commitment to safety by running a meeting that puts your followers to sleep, you will quickly recognize otherwise.

Frankly, you would be better off not to have any meeting than to hold a bad safety meeting. But safety meetings have taken on a life of their own, and it seems you have no choice but to run them. 

Our goal is to help you run good meetings by sending along useful content. If you know how to take full advantage of the content – by Asking Darn Good Questions – you will have a good meeting. It really is that simple. So this month, we offer a stay about a technical leader who lost his hand while troubleshooting equipment. 

https://press.hse.gov.uk/2022/09/20/firm-fined-115000-after-workers-hand-was-cut-off-in-machine/

As to exactly how to put the story into play in your safety meeting with your followers, there is a long list of possibilities. Here are a few examples: 

  • The equipment was not properly locked out before troubleshooting and repairs were initiated. 
  • The person who suffered the injury was an engineer and a manager. Clearly his knowledge was not sufficient to keep him out of harm’s way. 
  • The work was undertaken without proper hazard identification and management. 
  • It was common practice to bypass the gate and work inside the fenced in area. In a word, that’s culture. 
  • Finally, the company was fined, but the person “suffered a life changing injury.” That’s the Case for Safety.

Follow any one of these observations, they beg a different set of questions. Ask interesting questions, and you’ll never have a bad safety meeting

Finally, if you have a daily safety meeting, you could use this story five days in a row and simply change the focus and the questions.

Having a good safety meeting is not that difficult!

Paul Balmert
October 2022

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