Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Safety Catalyst: Handling Stubborn Safety Problems

Making a safety program work ...

"Will Rogers contended, "The secret of success is simple. If you're in a hole, quit digging." This seems like common sense, but I've seen many leaders who, when frustrated, resort to pulling out a shovel – either handtool or bulldozer – and then redoubling their digging efforts. These are otherwise intelligent people in a wide range of professions, but they continue to expend precious resources and risk losing credibility by this try-harder-the-same-way excavating.

We as safety professionals aren't exempt. Have you seen this: Workers don't change their actions? Tell them again (with a why-didn't-you-listen undertone). Policies and procedures not followed? Write additional (and more detailed) rules. Training didn't change their behavior? Put them through the same training again and again (until they "get it").

It seems that when their people don't act in hoped-for manners, many leaders default toward becoming more rigid, forceful, negative and blaming. Ironically, these are the polar opposite responses of the strongest leaders I've encountered. When things don't go their way, master leaders are relaxed and vigilant. If their first action doesn't get the job done, then they flexibly shift to a different tack."   continued ...   (Via Occupational Hazards)

Will Rogers - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Will Rogers.

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