Skip to main content

Safety? Whats The Big Idea!

The Big Idea is you don't value it till you lose it. That's why all the feverish activities once there has been a so-called accident just so you can salvage what can be salvaged while searching out ways and means to prevent a future recurrence. And hoping that everyone concerned shall remain 'sufficiently scared straight' for the immediate times ahead and that lessons arising will remain eternally fresh to make the difference between doing the right and the wrong. But does it always pan out as envisaged?

Well, not exactly. At least, not all the time. So you might then wonder why. You see, SAFETY is an intangible quantity (or shall I say, invisible quantity?) so most people hardly notice when routine operations are smooth sailing i.e. no unplanned stoppages, no product loss or damage, and no dicey close calls. That is how you can tell that everyone is doing what they're supposed to be doing the right way. No errors, forced or unforced; no short cuts, no superior-knowledge-induced-oversights like I-have-done-this-same-thing-over-and-over-for-years-and-I-have-never-had-an-accident-yet. Just the good old fashioned way of getting things done the right way, no frills no fancy and on schedule.

That is when the business is on easy street. And for once, management, supervision and the employees appear to be in an unassailable congruence, what with everything going according to plan. What more can anyone ask for?

But strangely enough, this is when you're most likely to encounter the question: 'Safety? What's The Big Idea?' simply because when things are flowing smoothly like a river no one remembers that it is because every little bit of the work component is being done or performed the right way, within  the set standards, and in accordance with the approved operating procedures; ultimately combining to yield what we commonly refer to as SAFE OPERATIONS or SAFE PRODUCTION.

That is the BIG IDEA of Safety in the work place.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THAT 5-MINUTE PEP TALK BEFORE THE JOB

There are pep talks and there are pep talks.

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…

How Much of Your Opex Do You Save Cutting Corners?

What % of your operating budget do you save when you look the other way while unauthorized changes and deviations are a norm in the workplace under your supervision? Would you 5, 10, 15 or maybe 30%? You are not too sure how much, if anything at all?


Well, it is highly unlikely that you will ever save on your Opex if employees are free to make up their own rules as they go along or can decide which step on the job comes next instead of what the approved procedures say. In fact working with scant regards for the Right Way of doing things condemns you to an ever spiraling  operating budget spend. Because you'll find that you are constantly grappling with 'digging a hole to fill a hole' throughout the life of  the project.


In the end, there are no prizes for guessing that your project will come in grossly over budget and way outside the delivery schedule because of all the issues of rework, unplanned stoppages, delayed logistics, repairs and replacements, backtracking, clea…

ACCIDENT IS MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN

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…