Stop doing, start being

First published on Safety Differently A little while ago, I participated in a workshop for CEOs discussing health and safety matters. We did the usual workshop thing of breaking into table discussions and feeding back to the group in time-honoured fashion. It is relatively rare to bring together such a large group of influencers, so…

Stick, Stick, Stick (carrot . . ?)

In August of 2015, a flooring company worker was badly burned when flammable vapour from glue he was using ignited due to another worker nearby using a blow torch. The company was subsequently prosecuted and found guilty under New Zealand legislation. What I found remarkable about this story was not the fact that the hazard…

Attributes of a safety leader

In safety, we often talk about “leadership at all levels” as there are people anywhere within a business that can provide leadership. I have some general misgivings about this. Not as a philosophy, but as a practical reality. It falls under the same umbrella as “empowerment” and the oft-quoted “safety is everyone’s responsibility”. Unfortunately, while noble…

Learning from process safety

This article was first published in New Zealand in the March/April 2016 issue of Safeguard magazine. December 1984. The Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India released a cloud of methyl isocyanate that spread across the region. The official immediate death toll was 2259. July 1998. An explosion and fire ripped through the Piper Alpha oil platform…

Safety in numbers

Safety in Numbers “What gets measured gets done.” This phrase, or some version of it, has been attributed to a number of different sources going all the way back to renaissance mathematician and astronomer Rheticus. Whatever its true age and provenance, over the last few decades it has been memetically embedded into pretty much every…