Author:brian-darlington

Our world is not your ashtray!

Our world is not your ashtray! 31st Jul 2020 Our columnist’s blood boils when he sees cigarette butts lying on the ground. He says that this is a “wicked problem”, involving habit and addiction – so it’s incredibly hard to solve … In one of my previous posts on LinkedIn, I wrote about how crazy it is for governments to try to control people’s smoking habit during the lockdown by banning the sale of cigarettes. I stand by my comment […]

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Do we listen with intent?

A chance encounter with an Australian led our columnist to ponder the importance of listening with intent – and not just hearing. He writes that the implications for safety can be significant … I recently returned from a trip to Canberra, the capital city of Australia, where I spent two weeks as part of research that I was carrying out. Having some free time over a weekend, I decided to visit the Australian War Museum, then take a walk through […]

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The unsafe “in-group” on our roads

The more people break the rules of the road, the more tolerant others become of at-risk behaviour, and in time they, too, start to break the rules. To combat the scourge, company leaders should make a concerted effort to raise awareness of road safety, says BRIAN DARLINGTON In 2017 I wrote an article titled: Not having to flip that switch, after spending two hours driving on the N2 highway between King Shaka Airport and Richards Bay. The article focused on […]

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Is our approach to safety crazy or committed?

Are we approaching safety with a “get out of jail free card” or are we doing safety for all the right reasons? As members of the safety and health fraternity, are we crazy in the way we approach safety in our respective companies, or can we confidently claim to be committed to safety? Are we focusing on a crazy number of safety rules and regulations just to “cover our (corporate) backs” and keep management out of court, or are we […]

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Engagement is key to success

When working towards an improved safety culture within an organisation, engagement is essential In my previous column, I spoke about developing a good safety culture in the workplace. As mentioned, a good safety culture requires so much more than simply achieving milestones relating to a set of safety indicators. In fact, there are a number of elements that need to be in place before one can truly boast a good safety culture! In this article, I am going to tackle […]

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Fundamentals of good safety

Simply getting the basics right provides the foundation for developing a good safety culture in the workplace. In the first of a series of articles on the subject, BRIAN DARLINGTON offers some advice I often hear representatives of companies saying that they have developed good safety cultures in their operations or organisations. However, closer investigation sometimes reveals that they have not always fully understood the concept. Having zero incidents, or a system of reporting close calls, or conducting “visible felt” […]

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Are we our own worst enemy?

It is a common cliché: safety is a line responsibility, right… However, is this really understood? Nobody is more equipped with the authority and influence to change the safety culture of employees and contractors than line management. Obviously, health, safety and enviroment (HSE) professionals have an important role to play in developing the desired safety culture, however, their role is to coach and guide the process. They can, however, be their own worst enemies at times, as they tend to […]

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Being part of “group safety”

It’s human nature for people to need to “belong” and “be accepted”, and this has a direct effect on their behaviour All of us want to belong to a group of some form or function. This could be a family group, religious group, a university or college, a sports club, a particular sports team, boy scouts or girl guides, or simply a group of friends. It’s human nature. Regardless of the form or function, many of us will have memories […]

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Forestry: High risk, but manageable

Forestry is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous industries in which to work, but that doesn’t mean it has to be unsafe. BRIAN DARLINGTON shares some tips to ensuring a safe work environment When researching which professions qualify as high-risk, forestry and commercial deep-sea fishing are almost always ranked among the top three (together with transportation), with forestry sometimes ranked as the industry with the highest risk. This is quite alarming when you consider that, as an […]

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Take a lesson or two from scuba divers

The importance of following the rules can never be overstressed – especially when you risk a pulmonary embolism, are sitting on the sea bed with manta rays, or conducting your everyday work Throughout my years as a safety and health professional, it has alarmed me to know how many employees and/or contractors work in unsafe ways. It’s unbelievable, but true. They either enter machinery without isolating and locking out, or without overriding the interlocking devices, or they work without the […]

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