Mouthing Off About Safety

Once again, another thought-provoking and interesting post by Phil La Duke.

Phil La Duke's Blog


By Phil La Duke

There’s a lot of talk about safety.  Safety talks, reflections on safety, safety reviews, safety observations, LinkedIn discussions, forums, blogs and…well the list goes on and on.  There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of talk about safety, but does talking about safety change anything?

In 2011, Harold D. Stolovitch published the book, Telling Aint Training a book that I confess to having not read—no judgment here, I read voraciously but just haven’t gotten around to reading this particular book. Why mention a book I haven’t read? Simple: the title intrigues me (apparently not enough to shell out $17.50 for the book, or even enough to drive the approximately one mile to the public library and at least ask about checking out a copy, but that’s neither here nor there.) I’ve known for years that people, at least adults, don’t learn from having things told…

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You Can’t Test Safety Compentency With Your Crappy Tests

Truer words were never spoken! Another good and thought-provoking post by Phil La Duke!

Phil La Duke's Blog


by Phil La Duke

If you’re hoping to ensure that the people taking your safety training have learned the material , then you probably use a posttest (a test given at the end of the session), and if you wrote this test it probably sucks. I used to write tests for a living and I am continually disgusted by what passes for an evaluative instrument—even those that have been created by professional trainers. The problem stems from the fact that most of us grew up taking really poorly designed tests and when tasked with creating a test of our own we tend to emulate what we know.

Is it a problem that our tests suck? Yes (and to those of you who think my use of the word “suck” is crude, in poor taste, or unprofessional I say got straight to hell—when you start creating tests that don’t suck…

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Texting And Walking – Maybe This Is A Solution?

  Seeing Eye People are a safe and practical solution for those people that insist on texting and walking at the same time. City Transportation departments could easily fund this venture with their excess revenue and make a significant dent in unemployment. Graduating college students could start off as interns and advance into a full … Continue reading Texting And Walking – Maybe This Is A Solution?

More great safety thoughts from Phil La Duke. Good read!!


Phil La Duke's Blog


By Phil La Duke

 “He’s as blind as he can be, just sees what he wants to see”—John Lennon, Nowhere Man

Hazards come in many shapes and sizes—from the physical to the behavioral and all points in between.  And the efficacy with which hazards are identified to a large extent shape the overall effectiveness of your safety management system. So what happens when your personal or organizational biases prevent you from seeing things accurately and honestly?

In broad strokes you tend to find the things for which you are looking and scarce little else.  If your organization, for example, gathers most of it’s information about hazards by watching workers perform their jobs they are likely to find a host of unsafe behaviors at the expense of other hazards that are equally (or potentially more) dangerous.  Think you are immune to letting your prejudices getting in the way of your observations…

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