“The Rise of the Safety Jihadist”

Phil La Duke's Blog

Safety Jihadist

By Phil La Duke

I have written a lot about the danger of safety professionals so convinced in the rightness of their cause that they find any disagreement a threat. Their feelings for their profession have surpassed passion and have drifted solidly into fanaticism. They are safety jihadists, and like all jihadists they are dangerous; they cannot be reasoned with nor can they be swayed from their zealotry. The life a life of singularity of purpose and anyone who dares disagree with them are at risk. One of my readers commented that I rail against these safety extremists and yet here I am week after week the insulation that I too was a fanatic hanging in the air like the victim of a lynching pecked clean by crows, but I am no fanatic.

That having been said, I feel strongly that change is necessary, that safety as a function has…

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“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.

Phil La Duke's Blog

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

Phil La Duke's Blog

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.

Phil La Duke's Blog

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! 🙂

Phil La Duke's Blog

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.

Phil La Duke's Blog

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.

Phil La Duke's Blog

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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