Safety Culture in the News

Ep.85 Why does safety get harder as systems get safer?…

In this week’s episode, we tackle an interesting conundrum in safety through a paper written by René Amalberti. The idea he poses is that aiming for zero errors in the workplace should not be the goal - in fact, some errors should be encouraged to ensure learning. The author also challenges the idea of continuously improving the safety of systems - stating that this could actually become detrimental to the overall safety of a workplace.

Women in STEM: Enhancing the Nuclear Safety Culture…

“The concept of a ‘safety culture’ is something that I identified for myself as very important, early on in my career,” says Maria Moracho Ramirez, Senior Safety Officer at the IAEA. “It relates to a culture of behaviour, and if you’ve been a trainer, you know that training for influencing behaviours is very complicated.”

In organizations dealing with nuclear and radioactive material, a strong safety and security culture helps to prevent accidents, as well as intentional acts that could lead to theft of nuclear material and/or harm the facility. It refers to the way in which safety and security is perceived, valued, prioritised and integrated into organizations. It involves leadership and other human factors. “Developing effective training to influence culture and change behaviours is challenging,” Moracho Ramirez says, “because it is quite different from explaining, for example, the design of a nuclear power plant, which follows a more straight-forward flow and can also be demonstrated physically.”

Not one to back away from a challenge, at the IAEA Moracho Ramirez has pioneered the concept of the IAEA’s first-ever IAEA International School on Nuclear and Radiological Leadership for Safety. The school focuses on fostering a culture of safety and on demonstrating the links between leadership and safety. Since its launch in 2017 it has attracted more than 200 early to mid-career nuclear professionals.

Spearfish safety culture saves more than just backs

SPEARFISH — Spearfish city employees participated in their first ever citywide Safety Stand-Down Day on Nov. 17. As part of the city’s new safety culture program, staff from all departments took part in a daylong training, which included general workplace safety talks and demonstrations.

“Since implementing the program in 2019, the city has seen a reduction in worker’s compensation claims resulting in a savings of over $78,000 in workers’ compensation premiums,” said Tyler Ehnes, safety coordinator for the city.

Ehnes also said that the city has seen a significant decrease in its loss ratio.

“Loss ratio is a ratio of work comp premiums paid versus claims paid out,” he explained. “An acceptable loss ratio is 60% as recommended by the South Dakota Municipal League Workers’ Composition Fund. In 2019 and 2020 the city’s loss ratio was 9% and 4% respectively. 2021 is currently 18%.”

Safety Top of Mind as Lobster Season Starts in Southwestern Nova Scotia…

Lobster fishing crews in southwestern Nova Scotia are reminded to make safety a priority and follow rules and guidelines as they begin their fishing season.

Dumping Day, traditionally the last Monday in November, marks the official start of the fishing season in lobster fishing areas 33 and 34 along the southern and western shores of the province.

“Safety must be top of mind for the hundreds of fishers who set out on the water on Dumping Day to set their traps,” said Jill Balser, Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration. “While very important for Nova Scotia’s economy, lobster fishing is dangerous work. A successful season also means every crew comes home safely at the end of their workday. I strongly urge all fishers to take the time and necessary steps to keep themselves safe, to be sure they get home to their loved ones.” Before heading out every morning, it is important for crews to: monitor the weather assess their boats examine their safety gear and check on others on board stay on the lookout for potential working hazards wear their personal flotation devices stay prepared for emergencies. Quotes: Fishing is difficult and sometimes dangerous work. I urge everyone – captains and crews – to take a moment to think about safety on board the boat. Locate your safety gear, run through your safety drills and be ready for the unexpected. Do it for yourself, your crewmates and your family. We want everyone to return home safely. Steve Craig, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture

I’m proud of the work the fishing industry has put in over the last six years. We’ve seen a shift of not just knowing about safety but caring about it, with more captains taking steps to improve safety on their vessels, attend wharf-side safety demonstrations, and focus on safety training for their crew. While fishing remains a dangerous job, these are all positive signs of a changing safety culture. Stuart MacLean, CEO, WCB Nova Scotia

Ambulance callouts to Amazon warehouses surge almost 50% in the run up to Black Friday…

AMBULANCE call-outs for health concerns at Amazon warehouses have almost doubled in the run up to Black Friday, with “horrific” reports of workers being sacked for raising Covid-19 concerns, GMB warns. The general workers’ union said that data obtained via freedom of information requests from four ambulance trusts that cover major Amazon sites show that, over a five-year period, November is the worst month for emergency calls. Demand for ambulances grew by 46 per cent between October and November this year as the multinational delivery giant piled on the pressure to fulfil orders, GMB charged. Newly uncovered accident investigation reports obtained by the union reveal an “alarming safety culture” at Amazon, including at the Coventry fulfilment centre, where serious injuries to fingers, limbs and backs caused by collisions with equipment and repetitive strains have been reported.

How to build a culture of food safety…

Jeannie Shaughnessy, CEO of PTNPA, explores what it takes to create a food safety culture and why it matters, offering helpful insights along the way.

When food safety culture becomes a core business component, it builds brand integrity, and creates common purpose and pride. Within such an environment, every person – from front office to front line – owns the privilege of being a part of this culture and the responsibility for making it work. But how is that accomplished and why is it important?

Food safety culture: perspectives

Built on a foundation of best practices, standards and regulatory compliance, a culture of food safety ultimately exists when dedication to food safety becomes an undeniable priority. When present, this culture serves as a point of pride for everyone in an organisation. Everyone must arrive at a place where they sincerely and consistently consider food safety as integral to all aspects of an organisation. The most authentic cultures that are committed to food safety do so because it’s simply the right thing to do.

Securing Patient Data In Healthcare Facilities…

How can health organizations establish a “culture” of safety? When safety is part of the corporate culture, each member of the organization takes personal responsibility for their actions and recognizes that they will be held accountable if they choose not to comply. Security works better when it’s collaborative; Employees should have insight into a company’s processes and the knowledge and skills to make smart decisions.

The following steps are a good place to start when developing a safety culture:

FCC 5G Approval Questioned by U.S. Lawmakers on Safety Grounds…

Democratic leaders of House Transportation Cmte call on FCC to provide technical data and give FAA more time to conduct risk assessments about the potential for 5G to interfere with aircraft safety equipment.

Democratic leaders of House Transportation Cmte call on FCC to provide technical data and give FAA more time to conduct risk assessments about the potential for 5G to interfere with aircraft safety equipment.

“The FCC’s and the telecom industry’s approach of ‘deploy now, fix later’ is anathema to the strong safety culture we have created and nourished in aviation over the last 20 years,” lawmakers say NOTE: FCC approved mobile phone providers use of frequencies in …

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Hazard, incident reporting app launched by CAA…

The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has introduced a smartphone application for reporting hazards, accidents, or safety issues that pose a threat to air travelers.

The PCAA announced the launch via their official Twitter account, according to the post read, “Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility. PCAA is pleased to announce the launch of an android app “Voluntary Hazard/Incident Reporting System”.

The air travelers can download the application from Google Play Store, the PCAA post read.

The application has been developed to invite the general public and air travelers to become a part of the aviation department’s safety culture, according to an official statement released by the department.

Hazard, incident, accident, damage, deficiency, violation, failure, and services are just a few of the areas covered by the app.

Survey finds process safety gaps persist…

The latest annual report on corporate safety efforts conducted by Sphera, Chicago, points to continuing gaps in companies’ efforts to bolster process safety. In addition, the Safety Report 2021, issued at the end of October, covers an expanded landscape that includes health and safety, unlike the five previous reports. This reflects the structural adjustments necessitated by COVID-19 to keep workers safe. “The pandemic has highlighted just how quickly safety and risk management processes can be thrown off balance. Safety in all its aspects makes for a resilient and sustainable business model, especially in an era when ESG [environmental, social and governance] goals are of the utmost importance,” notes Sphera CEO and president Paul Marushka. “An effective safety culture and efficient safety process helps ensure a healthy workforce and enhanced business performance. However, we are still seeing a gap in how companies link safety and business performance, which highlights a need for a more holistic approach through data, software and expertise.”

Trained staff to play vital role in saving lives: DG…

The Emergency Services Academy, Rescue 1122 trained 27 officials of Unilever Pakistan to enhance the professional skills of Unilever staff regarding emergency response and safety skills.

The training course on internationally recognized Community Action for Disaster Response (CADRE) Course organized by Safety Wing of Academy on the request of Unilever Pakistan Lahore.

The three-day course concluded at Manager Training Center of Emergency Services Academy here on Wednesday.

While addressing the participants Dr. Rizwan Naseer said, that only well-sensitized and professionally trained community member can play their effective role to save lives in case of any emergency or disaster.

Unilever in collaboration with Rescue Service shall promote safety culture in industries and all trained members shall further develop their teams for saving lives and promoting safety.

If You Think Managing Worker Health And Safety Is Expensive, Try An Accident…

While October was National Safe Work month in Australia, contract worker safety is a year-round commitment for the energy and natural resources industries. Thomas Barlow, head of SAP Fieldglass Center of Excellence, recently led an insightful conversation between a panel of experts who talked about how companies can keep contract workers safe by building a safety-first culture and using advanced technologies.

BRIN: Nuclear Plant Progress Hampered by Politics, Not Tech…

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The principal expert researcher of Nuclear Energy Research Organization, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Djarot S. Wisnubroto, explained that the main challenge of constructing a nuclear power plant in Indonesia is not the lack of technology but rather the lack of political willingness.

“The challenge actually lies in the socio-political aspect, when the decision to build the nuclear power plant is made and when we would ‘go nuclear’,” said the professor in an online discussion on nuclear and net zero emission on November 16.

According to Djarot, who led the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN) from 2012-2018, the use of nuclear energy has always been a controversial topic and not exclusive to Indonesia’s political discourse. He believes scientists need to be prepared to provide evidence-based answers to explain the safety and benefit of nuclear energy.

“Perceptions will indeed vary, that is the fact, but the perception that nuclear is the safest energy will be hard to accept. There is a cultural and social problem, because the audience can be very diverse,” the professor added.

Other challenging aspects for the use of nuclear energy are the lengthy and costly construction process, preparations for the worst case scenario, and managing the radioactive waste. “Can we manage high-risk technology while we as a society have a low safety culture,” he said.

Listening Audits

Audits are an essential part of any laboratory safety program. Audits are the exams of safety preparation. Most of us do not like to do audits or have our facility audited.

Several years ago, my employer hired two auditing consultants from DuPont as part of their training program in laboratory safety. These gentlemen had been managers of research laboratories; they shared their safety management experiences with our research managers and staff. On the afternoon prior to their formal presentation, the consultants carried out an audit of our laboratories.

While our audits tend to focus on objects in the lab (e.g., labels, hazardous materials, safety equipment, working spaces, storage, waste collection, general housekeeping), the consultants were more interested in the people working in the lab. Most of the audit time was spent talking with the researchers in their work area. The consultants would introduce themselves, explain that they were conducting an audit for the company.

They asked the researcher to explain their job tasks. How did you learn how to do this? Who taught you? Are there any significant safety issues in performing this task? In general, do you feel safe working in this area? The researchers were quite comfortable talking with these consultants. Some enjoyed talking about their work; others appreciated being asked for their input about the lab and lab safety.

Healthy boardroom, healthy workplace…

Board members play a pivotal role in influencing the culture of their organisations.

However, one key danger for organisations is when directors believe that “the absence of failure is a measure of success” .

To combat this, board member education is vital, according to experts who argue board members need broader training to ask the right questions and to understand how their mindset and decisions affect their organisations’ workplace culture and performance.

GOOD NEWS: MC offers RigPass and Basin United safety classes…

MIDLAND The Midland College Petroleum Professional Development Center (PPDC) is now accredited by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) to conduct RigPass and Basin United safety classes.

Several months ago managers from Pioneer Natural Resources approached PPDC Director Erin Van Evera-Welch about providing IADC safety training. Pioneer is a member of the Executive Committee of Basin United, a collaboration of Permian Basin petroleum operators with the goal of eliminating serious oilfield injuries and fatalities. Other members of Basin United include Chevron, Cimarex Energy, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, Diamondback Energy, Endeavor Energy Resources, ExxonMobil and its subsidiary XTO Energy, Halliburton, Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), Parsley Energy, Patterson Drilling, Plains All American Pipeline, Schlumberger and Shell Energy.

Since 2015, there have been 342 fatalities in the U.S. oil and gas industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics fatality data for oil and gas. This includes 63 deaths in 2016, 81 in 2017, 94 in 2018 and 104 in 2019. The statistics are getting worse, not better.

“It is important that the Basin be a safe place to work, and it is our mission to upskill and train oilfield professionals in all aspects of their jobs, including safety,” Van Evera-Welch said. “The training is for anyone who does business in the energy sector, such as electrical contractors, oilfield service companies, sand transportation companies, etc. As an IADC accredited provider, staff at the PPDC will keep track of student enrollment and distribute certification cards to those who successfully complete each class.”

Van Evera-Welch explained that IADC curriculum consists of an engaging approach to safety training—not just a series of PowerPoint slides. The Basin United classes are composed of two 8-hour training seminars that use virtual reality, videos and interactive sessions to explore lifesaving actions, safety responsibilities and processes for building and sustaining a healthy safety culture at worksites.

‘Dollars before lives’: Workers hit out at Yallourn safety culture…

Workers at Yallourn power station, which supplies nearly a quarter of Victoria’s electricity, claim its owner Energy Australia has a “culture of dollars before lives” as details emerge about a potentially fatal on-site explosion in March.

The revelation of the March explosion comes as power station workers and Energy Australia await a decision from Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd, QC, on whether there will be any criminal charges over the 2018 workplace death of Yallourn unit controller Graeme Edwards.

Documents from Victoria’s workplace safety regulator, WorkSafe, describe a “catastrophic” explosion in one of Yallourn’s pulverised fuel mills on March 20.

Photographs of the March 20 explosion show the casing around the pulverising mill’s shaft blown apart, sparking a fire and flinging metal debris as far as 20 metres away.

FSAI event: Why a food-safety culture benefits us all…

The regulation, which amends an existing regulation, requires businesses to provide evidence of an appropriate culture by satisfying a number of requirements set out in the regulation.

The event will provide participants insights into the role of and consequences of food-safety culture for three distinct groups in the food system cycle:

The safety of all of us as consumers; Industry practitioners engaged in providing food for consumers worldwide; Regulators seeking to increase both public health and increased trade. These topics, and more, will be expanded on during the panel debate which will be chaired by Suzanne Campbell, author and journalist.

Spearfish stands down for safety

SPEARFISH — The city of Spearfish is taking an extra step towards its increasing safety culture by hosting a Safety Stand Down Day for its employees on Wednesday.

“The premise of a stand down day is to stand down all operations as much as feasible to allow employees to focus on professional development when it comes to safety,” explained Tyler Ehnes, safety coordinator for the city. “As a municipal government in South Dakota, OSHA has no authority over us as far as inspections and fines go, so we have no safety oversight. We’re choosing to do this as a community and as a staff on our own accord to keep people safe.”

City offices at the Restricted Use Site, Rec and Aquatic Center, and City Hall will all be closed on Wednesday for staff to attend safety-training seminars at the W. S. Tretheway Pavilion at the city park.

Change of culture needed to improve nautical safety locally…

The issue of nautical safety in the BVI may require closer attention given some challenges in the recent past.

This is according to the Director of the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, John Samuel. The entity has oversight for maritime administration issues in the BVI, including the responsibility to conduct marine accident investigations where ever marine accidents may take place.

While appearing as a guest on the Honestly Speaking radio show, Samuel said the issue of marine accidents is one the Registry has struggled with in recent years.

One of the challenges that boaters in the BVI struggle with is that they know the waters mentally, Samuel said.

“When you operate knowing an area mentally, you operate very differently than if you had to actually practice navigation to operate safely. So you become more relaxed—your attention, you’re not as focused,“ Samuel said.

“Because we know the area so well and we can navigate it almost blindly, we perhaps tend maybe to not pay as much attention as we should when we are operating out on the water,” he further explained.

As a mitigation measure, Samuel suggested that safety campaigns needed to be improved and said the safety culture on the water also needed to be changed to give people a greater appreciation of the need to operate safely while on the water.

‘Safety is everyone’s responsibility’: University webinar emphasizes maintaining safety on-campus…

Actively taking steps to promote and facilitate an ongoing safety culture plays a crucial role in preventing life-threatening incidents across University of Nevada, Reno settings. On Nov. 8, 2021, Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), part of Research & Innovation, hosted a webinar where University leaders and esteemed guest speakers discussed the importance of continually reinforcing a culture of safety.

“From our laboratories, classrooms and meeting spaces, to our performing arts venues, athletics venues and residence halls…it’s imperative that we support and strengthen a culture of safety,” said University President Brian Sandoval in opening remarks. “This starts with policies, procedures and resources, but a culture of safety is much more. It’s a culture where we are vigilant, where we value the opportunity to continually improve, where we value training and preparedness, where we look out for one another.”

Mark McLellan, University of North Texas vice president for research and innovation, and Craig Merlic, UCLA professor and executive director of the UC Center for Laboratory Safety, were guest speakers at the event. The program also included remarks from Environmental Health & Safety Associate Director Ben Owens and University Vice President for Research and Innovation Mridul Gautam.

How To Be a Strong Construction Site Manager…

Improve Safety Safety is one of the top points of how to be a strong construction site manager. You can’t effectively lead a crew if there are unsafe work conditions present. One way to avoid this issue is to implement safety training programs. By doing this, you avoid OSHA violations, keep your experience modifier ratio low, and develop safety-conscious employees—a must in construction. Improved safety not only makes for more effective teams but also ensures the well-being of every worker. The last thing any site manager wants to see is someone become injured or worse. Avoid these risks as much as possible with proper safety training plans in the workspace.

The evolution of safety…

Focusing on the future is an important part of all facets of the oil and gas industry. There are always new opportunities, new challenges and better ways of doing our work. We, as an industry, must stay committed to continuous improvement. One way to recognize the improvements we have made and the way we have evolved is to occasionally pause for self-reflection.

I have experience in many industries working for various employers, but the vast majority of my time has been in the oil and gas industry. I have worked in the field and have friends and family members who continue to do so. My experiences in the field and as an HSE professional drive my commitment to looking for ways to manage safety and refine the qualification process. My approach to safety is to develop processes and procedures to eliminate incidents, and to surround myself with colleagues in HSE, the field and in senior leadership positions who share the same goal. I am proud to be part of Michels Canada’s safety culture and of a team that, as of this writing, has completed more than 3 million exposure hours without a single loss-time incident.

When I reflect on my observations over the past decade, I recognize vast improvements and the ongoing need for continuous review and advancements. I hope that as you read this, you will review your own personal commitment to safety and identify ways for our industry as a whole to continue our journey to safety excellence.

FIRST Center, FDSOA receive $1.5M Fire Prevention & Safety grant…

PHILADELPHIA — The Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST Center) and the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) announced on Monday the receipt of a $1.5 million grant from FEMA’s Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) program. The funding will extend the scope of the Fire service Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS) survey, a fire service-specific safety culture assessment tool.

The FIRST Center said this collaboration is in response to FEMA’s national prevention priorities on firefighter safety projects “designed to measurably change firefighter behavior and decision-making,” adding that “safety culture is a robust predictor of occupational injuries and organizational outcomes such as burnout, job satisfaction, and engagement.”

The funding will extend the scope of the Fire service Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS) survey, a fire service-specific safety culture assessment tool. The funding will extend the scope of the Fire service Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS) survey, a fire service-specific safety culture assessment tool. (Photo/FIRST Center) The newest grant funding will extend the scope of FOCUS by allowing FIRST and FDSOA to partner with Workers’ Compensation Bureaus (WCBs) to explore models of scale-up and utility so that all U.S. states and territories will be served. The implementation of FOCUS by fire departments covered by each state’s WCB will evaluate the impact on injury and well-being claims as well as explore premium reductions for participants.

SHE Issues Neglected In Schools- Rari…

Botswana Federation of Public Private & Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) Secretary General, Tobokani Rari, says the local education sector environments remain volatile when it comes to issues of Safety Health & Environment.

According to Rari, schools remain the only industries that hold thousands of people at a go.

Speaking at the recent S.H.EMASTERS Schools Safety Summit Botswana, which was held under the theme, UNMUTE SCHOOL SAFETY; A SYSTEMATIC RISK APPROACH TOWARDS BUILDING A RESILIENT SAFETY CULTURE FOR ALL, Rari said the view of BOFEPUSU is that issues of Safety, Health and Environment have been greatly neglected in Schools in the country.

“It is only in the advent of Covid that the school health policies started to be developed. SHE officers got hired and deployed to schools albeit on temporary basis, COVID – 19 specific inspections got carried out. This pandemic caught Botswana off guard with respect to safety in schools and came up as a wake up call. However, teachers still use chalk and duster, which is deemed hazardous and do not have working spaces, with continuous standing and extremely uncomfortable chairs and desks,” he said.