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This has nothing to do with a stake out or anything like that. When it comes to safety on-the-job, it simply refers to the art of taking a detailed and comprehensive look at what you plan to do and how; taking each step in turn to ascertain that nothing has escaped your scrutiny or attention.

Workplace accidents or so called, are often traceable to those little things that slipped through the gap due to oversight, familiarity with the routine, repetitive application, time pressure, competing interests/goals, skills deficiency or plain I-know-what-I-am-doing ego thing. So it figures that most workplace so-called accidents are preventable. Or could be prevented if every job task or routine is subject to a second look aka casing the joint.

On-the-job errors are costly, regardless. This is because whatever the circumstances, an error is an error. It spells doom for your pocket as the business owner, employer, employee, contractor or shareholder. Unfortunately, shop floor Management is often in a corner, looking to deliver on the boss' sometimes unrealistic targets and steering a safe ship. This 'conflict of interest' is the Launchpad of most safety failings in the workplace but the reality hardly dawns until it's too late. Because there's an unwritten rule of 'production is priority' or 'do more with less in most workplaces', the 'long term' value of 'slow and steady' winning the race loses it's time honoured appeal.

But does it make any business sense to race to your targets only to lose the production line or the entire production facility in the end? If the answer is not a 'yes' then 'Casing The Joint' as often as necessary while you're on the job might not be such a bad idea. After all, sustainable production can only mean safe production.


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Over the years, I've had the privilege of observing pep talks all day long on seismic crews, construction sites, production platforms, processing plants, wire line, drilling operations, rig moves and so on. But not once have I left not feeling maybe the crew could have done better with the shape and content of the core messages thereof. This is because I am of the view that safety messages are only helpful if they are clear and to the point, with little or no ambiguity, if any at all. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Now 5-minutes is not a great deal of time for even the most gifted and skillful of speakers to nail  home  the key safety dos and don'ts of the job soon to commence. So most of these talks frequently average out to be sing songs and prayerful affairs in the end, with generalized 'messages' like be 'your brother's keeper', 'safety is everybody's business', 'you all know what…


Any accident is money down the drain, pure and simple. No two ways about it.

So I am pained and amused at the same time whenever I hear people chuckling that what 'happened' to them was 'nothing' because 'NOTHING' happened. The NOTHING being a reference to the fact that the incident occasioned no injury or apparent damage. How interesting? Interesting because that kind of talk or line of thinking can only get you into some BIGGER trouble in due course if you do not begin to rethink the way you see things soon enough.

Now consider that even for a near miss incident, which roughly translates to an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage - but had the potential to do so - there are costs. They may not be apparent but they sure are there, quietly chipping away at your business bottom line. To illustrate: imagine that your construction site employees are beavering away with gusto, chasing the next milestone, when a 'Tech' on the fif…


In 'ACCIDENT IS MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN', we tried illustrating  how a NOTHING HAPPENED near miss incident of a hammer accidentally slipping off a technician's grasp, falling through a considerable height and landing safely between two busy foremen, with no damage to property or injury to anyone on site resulted in so much useful production time loss. A conservative computation of the time-cost estimate showed what seemed to be a 'harmless' incident costing the site company management a hefty 3.4 Man-Days lost time in direct costs! The exercise ended without considering the 'POTENTIAL' of the occurrence.

'POTENTIAL' simply refers to the probability of a much more consequential outcome by chance or slightly altered circumstances given the number of people exposed to the threat at the time. This is usually what constitutes the difference between a 'NOTHING HAPPENED' incident, a disabling/ serious property damage one or a fatality. That the people…