How’s that Safety Culture coming along
Everyone on board. Great. Your safety record is probably on target then.
Yet did you realise…Your Safety Culture could be at risk.
Even though your people may be physically present – their minds may not necessarily by on the job. Yes, I know.. not your guys and gals, – they are dedicated, hand picked, serious workers – professionals even.
The most important steps in any safety culture program is create awareness of behaviours and eliminate (either quickly, or over time) those that may be dangerous.
How do you bring awareness to your safety culture team?
Let’s talk mindset.. or more particularly conscious and subconscious.
There are really good reasons why people do the silly things they do…
and its not usually because they are slack, lazy, stupid, thoughtless, thick, indolent, careless, complacent or just stubborn.
Acknowledging this about your team, opens up a dialogue where people feel valued and can then actively participate in your safety culture program.
So, minds.. out of every 10 mins in 60 -your mind “disappears” – wanders off to take a break – more precisely – its busy downloading all the information it has taken in, in the previous 50 minutes – and that can be quiet a lot.. Its filtering and storing useful information, trying to make life easier for you – so that next time you can save some time on the job.
Thats called ALPHA – or off with the fairies.safety culture fairy
Thats the time when your mind is zoned in – and unaware of what is going on around you. It’s the time when you are still doing things.. but perhaps when your done, you realise – “Oh, I don’t recall doing that” – you know when you put your keys somewhere and then forget where you put them, or you arrive at your destination – and don’t recall part of the drive.. Hello Alpha.
Its the state between BETA (fully conscious, and aware) and THETA (deep deep relaxation)
The key point here to recall – is that when you are in ALPHA state – you don’t see anything above your eyes or below your knees…. so when you are working – you probably will hit your head, or trip over something – that you know has been there for ages.. you just “didnt see it”.
ALPHA is what helps you create habits
As busy time saving machines – we are always looking for ways to get the job done quicker… and in the best possible way. So if we find a short cut.. and we do it regularly – your mind can say – “Hey,he does this all the time – lets make it a habit, so we don’t have to think so hard – and it’ll get done on autopilot”.
BOOM – next thing you know – that thing that you do all the time to save time… that shortcut.. that dangerous omission of a step in the process.. becomes a Habit – and zoned into Alpha – you don’t even know you are doing it..
Again Safety Culture out the door… Bad Habits come on in.
Those habits, good or bad – have been stored in your subconscious as an Automatic Subconscious Response. – No one knows what is going to happen next…
BOATS, I KNOW BOATS.. remember the RACQ Commercial
That is an example of Personal Risk Perception… everyone else is way way way more dangerous than me. I know what Im doing – but that other fellow – who is doing that shortcut.. he’s got no idea.
And being the responsible safety type person I am, Im going to say, “Hey -don’t do that” -you’ll get hurt” – I’ll jump up and do it.. cos, well, Im super human – and know what Im doing.. so I wont get hurt like you.
That Time you wanted to save – went out the door because, I didn’t see the risk.
By doing the activity in the quickest, easiest (probably unsafest) way possible, Im saving the company and myself so much time… Ill get an early mark. Or will you – again safety culture question… is it really worth the “time saved” to get the job done… if it’s not safe.
Safety culture communicate
So in essence, our own personal safety culture is about others having the courage to communicate to each and everyone of us – what we perceive as a risk… so that it can be assessed sensibly.
Yet TALKING to each other seems to be the most difficult safety strategy to implement. We all just do what we are told… not wanting to rock the boat.. (remember, we all know boats!) – If I raise a concern about someone’s behaviour – Ill become a target for being a softie.. or a whinger.. and we don’t want that – we’d rather get hurt and spend time laid up – planning an new life…
So lead by example, if you do the job right every time… everyone around you will too. Speak up, communicate, acknowledge your own personal risk perception lack.. and don’t create habits out of bad processes.
Connect with me to see how my story can reinforce these safety strategies.. and how my bad safety attitude impacted on the safety culture at my workplace.