“Who Wants Safety?”

Excellent Post by Phil La Duke!

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DangerBy Phil La Duke

Why don’t people care about the costs of savings associated with reducing injuries? I have devoted my career in safety trying to sell the idea that: a) injuries cost money that returns no value; b) the right improvements not only will pay for themselves, but will show a return on investment; and c) there is nothing gauche or vulgar about saving money along with saving lives, in other words just because you save money by lowering injuries doesn’t mean you care any less about the human costs of injuries.

It would appear to be a no brainer, wouldn’t it? If you could spend $150,000 and see a tenfold return on the money, while at the same time reducing human suffering wouldn’t it just make unequivocal sense to do so? Yet companies will spend ten times that much without a ghost of a hope of getting a…

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“A Complete Listing Of My Published Works”

Many Safety Articles, Lessons And More By A Good Friend, Phil La Duke! All Are Recommended Reading!

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“How To Evaluate Training”

Another excellent article by a great safety professional, Phil La Duke.

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By Phil La Duke

Last week I stated (for the umpteenth time) that a worker’s core competency may be the best predictor of safety.  I went on to rant about how in many cases training is slapped together and shoddily delivered in an effort to check the almighty box. One of my readers asked how can one accurately assess the efficiency of training.  So here goes…

“The Kirkpatrick Model is the worldwide standard for evaluating the effectiveness of training. It considers the value of any type of training, formal or informal, across four levels. Level 1 Reaction evaluates how participants respond to the training. Level 2 Learning measures if they actually learned the material.”

¾The Kirkpatrick Model – Kirkpatrick Partner www.kirkpatrickpartners.com/OurPhilosophy/TheKirkpatrickModel

The Kirkpatrick Model is a simple and fairly accurate way to measure the effectiveness of adult learning events (aka training), and while every six months or so…

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“Is Predictive Analysis For Safety Just the Next Big Thing?”

Another thought provoking #safety post from my good friend Phil La Duke

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By Phil La Duke

I’ve taken a fair amount of flack about being behind on the latest and greatest in Safety theory. I’m not worried about getting a little flack from pompous, over-blown, theoreticians who pat me on the head and patronize me for being the poor stupid author of an antiquated article filled with atavistic thinking. That’s fine, but keep it respectful or I will poor more vitriol and bile then you thought possible.

For starters I have been a proponent, advocate, and user of predictive indicators since the late 1990s. But I have to tell you that I think the theoreticians are jumping the gun in saying that we can predict fatalities, or even injuries, at least not without significant education in statistics and data analysis.

Predicting fatalities is a bit like predicting the weather; that is, difficult. The difficulty lies in the many variables that can influence…

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“The Body Counts Continue”

Another Great Article By My Friend Phil La Duke!

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By Phil La Duke

As the safety professionals nestled in the serene bosom of the holidays, the Bureau of Labor Statistics dropped a shattering revelation. The news came like a hammer through a plate glass window; sudden and jarring. Workplace fatalities have risen to their highest rate since 2008. The fact that overall injuries have continued to fall year after year has lulled safety professionals into thinking that the workplace over all has become safer; we sit and congratulate ourselves on a job well done, ignoring the fatal fly in the ointment that the trend in workplace fatalities has stayed flat and now has spiked upward.

In this Twittering Trump, Brexit, post-fact world that fact that people are continuing to die at work doesn’t seem to matter; we congratulate ourselves none-the-less. Our leaders both within Safety and in our core businesses continue to count bandages. Despite injury counts and rates…

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The Value Of Nothing

Another thought provoking post by my friend Phil La Duke.

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By Phil La Duke

We live in a post-Napster world where everything on the internet is believed to be free, or at very least that it should be free. It’s easy to blame lazy, self-centered, shiftless Millenials for this, but what then of lazy, self-centered, shiftless Baby Boomers, and Gen Xers? Everyone shares the blame of the lowering of the collective IQ of the blogosphere, and it’s because we place no value on something we get for free.

I’m as guilty as anyone of this. In this crap made in China world why have electronics repaired when it’s cheaper to through it out and buy a new one.  The less we pay for something the less we value it.

So what value do we place on safety advice given to us for free? Zero, zip, nil. Recently someone published an article I wrote, word for word (except for an opening…

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“Safety Is a Thankless Job”

Another excellent post by my good friend Phil La Duke. You owe me a mention! 🙂

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ThanklessBy Phil La Duke

On April 19th I will make my 10th consecutive speaking appearance at the Michigan Safety Conference in Grand Rapids Michigan; this speech quite likely will be my last public appearance (it most certainly will be the only public appearance I will be making in 2016).  I have already have either submitted or am writing my 100th published article (I have 96 currently in print, ISHN has 4 as yet unpublished works, and Entrepreneur another 2, and I am working on a piece for Health & Safety International), and this is my 188th blog post.  That’s represents approximately 300,000 words in print, and (when coupled with my speaking engagement) close to a million hours of effort without compensation. Pro bono work offered in hopes of bettering the Safety Function. These milestones will go largely unnoticed and certainly uncelebrated within and without the safety community.

This sure sounds…

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“Calculating the Cost of Nothing”

Another Excellent Post My Good Friend, Phil La Duke!

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Hundred dollar bill fadeBy Phil La Duke

I’ve been writing this blog for almost 10 years (I started in July 2016) and during a decade of writing it, I haven’t said much about what I do; that is to say, I don’t share much about my day job. In part that’s to protect my client’s confidentiality, and partly because I don’t want to lose credibility by turning this into a weekly commercial. If I’m quiet about my work, mostly it’s because I want to explore and debunk the cherished truisms of safety. But today I have to explain a little of what I do to provide a context for the topic d’jour.

So what is it that I do? Years ago, working with a team of system management and OD experts I developed a revolutionary approach to worker safety for a major manufacturer (even though what I am about to divulge has been…

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“Safety Is Hard Work”

Another insightful safety viewpoint from my good friend Phil La Duke.

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hard-work-paysBy Phil La Duke

Recently I experienced a personal loss. It was the kind of loss that leaves behind the kind of profound emptiness that only death can bring. Since the particulars of the loss aren’t related to workplace safety nor anyone’s business I won’t go into the specifics, but these are the kind of life events that get you thinking.

In the Safety function we deal with loss and to some extent we become preoccupied with preventing loss. But I don’t feel like talking about loss this week. Instead I want to talk about expectations.

Recently, a leader looked at me and said, “when are we going have the workers take responsibility for their safety? That’s the program I want!” A program. A gimmick. The next big thing. A magic bullet. That’s what too many leaders (and frankly too many Safety practitioners) want; the quick fix.

First of all…

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“Safety Sergeants and Invisible Risks”

A “Cop On The Beat” mentality will never change, build or enhance a positive safety culture. Going the “Extra Mile” to show employees the right way to be safe and get them involved as well, so that you can build a TEAM mentality that will win out every time, as long as there is an HONEST commitment to Safety, by THE ENTIRE organization! – Jack Benton

Thanks Phil La Duke for another fine article.

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Sergeant

By Phil La Duke

In some respects the safety practitioner is like an army drill sergeant.  At first that seem like an odd coupling, but the drill sergeant has to train people to act in a way that is clearly not in their best interests and in fact, carry the risk of getting them killed to serve a greater good.  Safety practitioners, conversely, are often charged with persuading workers not to take risks that people don’t see as all that dangerous. So while the goals of the drill sergeant and the safety practitioner are at cross purposes achieving those goals both rely to varying extents on one’s ability to persuade another.

In too many cases, the safety professional misses the difference between the role of the drill sergeant and that of the safety practitioner. These safety sergeants believe that their role is to berate and bully people into…

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“What’s In It For Me? WIIFM in Safety”

Another excellent post by my good friend Phil La Duke. Great Read!

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keep-calm-and-what-s-in-it-for-me-2

By Phil La Duke

Let’s suppose your spouse’s cousin asks you for a favor…a big favor (not a sexual favor get your mind out of the gutter). After he unveils his scheme to make big money with little effort and all he needs from you is $10,000 and he can see a $80,000 return in just six short months. Since he makes no mention of interest, a reciprocal favor, or even of paying you back, you’re likely to ask, “why should I?” or “What’s in it for me?” After all $10 grand is a lot of money (about a third of a good safety practitioner’s annual wage) and you worked hard for it…well not exactly hard, I mean you weren’t working in a limestone quarry swinging a pickaxe…but you did earn it…okay some might argue with that point as well…at any rate it’s YOURS and you aren’t just going to…

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“When is Your Safety Meeting Not A Safety Meeting?”

Good Article from my good friend, Phil LaDuke!

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dysfunctional meetings

By Phil La Duke

A common leading indicator for safety is involvement in safety meetings, but to risk sounding like Bill Clinton’s infamous “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” quote what constitutes “involved in safety meetings”? To answer that question we have to define “involved” “safety” and “meetings” (and hell you might as well define “in” while you’re at it.)  To be a true leading indicator, that is, a measure of something that positively correlates to future safe performance, something must directly or indirectly align with things that promote safety (in my view of the world: improved competency, better process capability, more effective management of risk and hazards, heightened accountability, or stronger engagement).

Participation in safety meetings if often used as a leading indicator, presumably of worker engagement; the assumption being that the more one is engaged the more likely one is to attend safety…

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Is Killing Kids Good For Small Business?

Another thought provoking article from Phil La Duke.

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tombstoneby Phil La Duke

When we hear about worker fatalities I imagine we picture a number of tragic but, let’s face it, predictable scenarios. Maybe someone took a short cut, maybe some won grew complacent, maybe…well we all have our presuppositions and our biases that help us to accept that while workplace deaths. Whatever preconceived notions about workplace fatalities that help us sleep better at night, and whatever it is that makes us believe that we and ours are better than that, immune to the carnage, protected because of who we are, nothing much prepares us for deaths like that of Martha Hochstetler. The 14 year-old girl died horribly after a portion of her clothing was caught in farm machinery while she was loading straw bales onto an elevator

http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/07/22/vermontville-michigan-farming-accident/30545533/

I grew up on the ruins of a farm and can’t accurately tell you when I started working. My parents…

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Changing The Safety Culture: You Got To Want It

Another great article and read by my good friend Phil La Duke!

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By Phil LaDuke

 

To some extent the world is driven by desire, and I have said (quoting a long-time friend) that you always have the time and money for what is truly important to you.  As I continue battling to sell safety systems to companies who truly do need to change their cultures I am continually beset by companies who are quick to say all the right things but when it comes to making a commitment they just plain lack the political will to get things done.

Of course no one will ever admit that they don’t want a safe workplace; to do so would brand them a villain worse than any war criminal.  So why is it so difficult to sell companies who employ large staffs dedicated to making the workplace safer? And why is it harder still to maintain the momentum it takes to drive lasting and…

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Safety Never Sleeps: Creating A Culture of Vigilance

A another Excellent Read By My Good Friend Phil La Duke

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We-Never-Sleep

By Phil La Duke

Creating a safety culture is all the rage today, and whether you are a snake oil shyster or an organizational psychologist working in safety everyone seems to agree that we need to create cultures of safety to be successful in reducing injuries.  I don’t know about you, but I get a more than a bit nervous when everyone agrees on a single course of action.

The concept of a “safety culture” in itself is both widely known and impossibly vague.  In broad strokes a safety culture is a state where “safety” is a shared value.[1]  I put the word “safety” in quotes because it is the most basic definition of our profession and the most poorly defined.  I have had people define it as the absence of injuries, but that doesn’t necessarily make one safe.  I have been in plenty of unsafe situations where…

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