I have worked with over 150 client companies helping to identify and change both the human as well as the cultural factors that have kept those companies from achieving a new level of safety excellence.
A culture change process is quite distinct from a "behavioral safety process" or an "observation Process". These are too often perceived as "spy or snitch" operations and are therefore bound to meet with resistance.
In the past, lost time injuries were accepted as a cost of doing business. Today, Fortune 500 companies go 4 to 5 years, and 5 to 10 million hours or more without a lost time injury because they have done an excellent job of guarding their equipment, providing personal protective equipment and training employees in safer operating procedures.
However, this approach has taken us about as far as we can go.
Now that lost time injuries have been significantly reduced, the current question is how can your company produce a similarly significant reduction in recordable injuries.
During this session, I will share with you some proven concepts and some of the latest theories that can help you strive for zero injuries as well as reduce environmental spills, releases and operating errors.
I will introduce two additional steps necessary to get to zero injuries. First we need to identify both the human as well as the unique cultural factors that exist in every company. Next, we need to construct relevant trainings - experiential and transformational - so that the material reaches the individual and allows them to utilize the training despite the inherent resistance to change.
This is a methodology that combines existing and proven techniques with a new field of learning specifically designed to address human and cultural factors.
A recent New Yorker article illustrates the importance of human and cultural factors. The author is Malcolm Gladwell. The article is "Wrong Turn" - How the Fight to Make America's Highways Safe Went Off Course and is available on the author's website: gladwell.com.
I share this story because I saw a strong parallel between the article and the challenge that many of you face while striving for zero injuries.
It was a clean and dry Saturday in April 1994. The vehicle was a 1980 Jeep Wagoneer. The driver was the 44 year old editor of a book company. His passenger was his 10-year old son. They were going to spend the day working on train engines. They were driving on a two-lane country road that intersected a more heavily traveled road. Thick stands of trees obscured both lanes to the right and left.
As the editor approached the intersection, he didn't see the intersection warning sign. He didn't see the stop sign. He crashed into two other vehicles that were traveling at approximately 45–50 miles per hour.
The editor suffered massive internal injuries and was pronounced dead two hours later. His son was bruised and shaken up.
Why did the father die?
Why did the some live?