Author:brian-darlington

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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Giving safety a sporting chance 

Safety is not a sport, and all sporting disciplines are not safe. Nevertheless, we can and should take safety principles from sport into the workplace, to guide our approach to safety in industry. Let’s take a closer look at one of the fastest sports in the world – Formula One racing. Formula One racing is one of the highest-risk sports, with many drivers having been killed and others seriously injured over the years. Some of the more prominent accidents include […]

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A tough job

Occupational health – simply injuries on a different timeline. I recently watched a documentary about sulphur mining on an Indonesian island off East Java. On this island, day after day locals enter the edge of an active volcano, Mount Ijen, to mine solidified sulphur. There is a captive market, with the sulphur being sold and used in the manufacture of explosives, cosmetics, firelighters and bleaching activities. The sulphur is, therefore, a valuable resource to the people of the island. The […]

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More lessons from the military

In the last issue we discussed the fact that, just as in the military, good leadership in business is important to ensure that employees and contractors return home safely at the end of each day. In both cases it is the leaders who are responsible for the safety of their teams. In the military environment there are no safety professionals in the combat forces, because it is not practical and, more importantly, there is a clear understanding that the various […]

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