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The Most Influential Person in Safety Is Not Who You Think

Posted by Kevin Burns on Aug 1, 2018 1:07:00 PM

We have the best people and the best safety processes more than ever, so you have to wonder why we are still hurting people?

For 50 years, safety has been promoted as being all about rules, processes, regulations, paperwork, inspections, reporting. We’ve organized a lot of meetings, and talked far too much about rules, and we’ve endured death by Powerpoint, and tried to get traction on the cutesy slogans, and tired, worn-out clichés. Oh, sure we've developed some new technology but mostly to make it easier to pencil-whip checklists and file reports. There’s not much that has been developed to make safety more engaging, and inspiring, and motivating.

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Sending People Home Safe Is Not Most Important

Posted by Kevin Burns on Jun 20, 2018 1:01:00 PM

“Sending people home safe” has become an all too familiar phrase. It has become that thing people say when they used to say "safety first." It's a phrase that rolls off your tongue in an effort to prove that you have a commitment to safety. But there's a problem with it.

Sending people home safely is actually the least you can do. It’s what employees expect you to do. They show up at work expecting to go home safely. But truthfully, anyone simply enforcing rules can get people home safely.

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Influencing Crew-Code For Better Safety

Posted by Kevin Burns on Dec 14, 2016 4:54:38 PM

To change crew-code in safety will require you to win the hearts and minds of your good people.

In addition to the Occupational Health and Safety Code, every company has its own corporate safety manual. These are the processes and procedures specific to a company that meet or exceed the minimum standards of the OH&S Code. There’s also an unspoken Crew-Code of “how we do things around here.” This is how workers and supervisors interpret the processes and procedures in the safety manual. The crew-code is powerful, perhaps more so than even the company safety manual. Depending on the crew, in some instances, it’s basically a “what we can get away with” code. Crew-codes that shortchange safety are illegal and dangerous—the opposite of a culture of safety.

Crew-code happens at the crew level. That’s good news for safety people and supervisors. You really only have to be able to influence your small crew in order to shift the crew-code. But, the inexperienced supervisor who doesn’t know how to motivate and develop employees, will have a harder time influencing crew-code.

As a front-line supervisor or safety person, here are three ways you can begin to influence the crew-code in safety:

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