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Safety programs needs hearts and minds to succeed

Safety programs needs hearts and minds to succeed

One of the most difficult things about creating a strong safety culture is engaging the hearts and minds of everyone in your organisation to take ownership of safety – regardless of their title or job function.

Even with excellent systems and processes and an understanding your legal obligations – as behavioural specialists – we know if people really don’t perceive their actions could cause harm, changing their behaviour is very hard.

In addition to great systems and processes, whether in the Learning and Development area or Safety, you need to focus on 4 areas to shift safety culture, or implement any change process. These are 4 vital areas that underpin any attempt to shift behaviour.

They are:

Without your organisation having these 4 areas working together to engage the hearts and minds of supervisors, managers and leaders – they will say the same thing over and over, and incidents will keep repeating over and over. Neglecting any of those 4 areas is at best case, a recipe for frustration and fear – and in the worst case could lead to injuries and potential fatalities.

Think about the statements below – are they being driven by Values, Beliefs, Mindset or Attitude?

  • It won’t happen to me?
  • It will be quicker to do it this way?
  • I will get in trouble if I stop
  • I’ve always done it this way
  • Wrap me in bubble wrap why don’t you
  • Someone else will handle what I just saw
  • Phew! close call but we got there

It’s almost guaranteed that if you have put all the tools and systems in place and you’re not getting improvements in your safety/ leadership culture or safety statistics – then it’s a failure for your organisation to engage Values + Beliefs + Mindset + Attitude.

There is also one more critical factor that supports this – role modelling.
If as a leader, you don’t embody the attributes that you want to see in your people and ‘walk the talk’ – changing others is impossible.

Thankfully shifting VBMA’s, (and therefore Hearts and Minds) doesn’t have to be difficult – it can be done en-masse with a well-structured training program.

It is because of this understanding we work with leaders on the Hearts and Minds before cascading any safety leadership program throughout an organisation.

To find out more about a bespoke Hearts and Minds program tailored to your organisation’s challenges and potential click contact us here.

Ready To Engage Hearts & Minds?

Learn More About Our Foundational Behavioral Safety Program

Focusing on shifting individual attitudes and mindsets regarding how safety is viewed in the workplace,
this program also teaches new skills and knowledge to embed behaviour change at an individual and organisational level.

Find out more and download the course outline below or call us on 1300 453 555.

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Low “Near Miss” Reporting – Good Sign or Failure?

Low “Near Miss” Reporting – Good Sign or Failure?

Ready to train your people in hazard identification and risk management?

We have a range of programs that will train your people in hazard identification and risk management which we can tailor specifically to your industry organisational needs.

Training can be taken as individual training program (download our course outlines here), or as part of one of our accredited programs:

10604NAT Certificate IV in Safety Leadership (WHS) – Construction

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Need some training? We can customise to your needs.

A near-miss is defined as an “unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage – but had the potential to do so.”

As organisations move through their safety culture maturity the issue of near-miss reporting raises its head. A mature organisation has a culture which tracks near-misses, examines how and why the near-miss happened, then puts in controls to minimise or eliminate the risk.  However not all organisations understand the purpose of near-miss reporting, or even if they say they do, they may fail to communicate benefits that reporting near-misses can bring to the safety of the organisation.

The purpose of near reporting is to allow the organisation to take cultural clues and assess their processes and procedures to determine how to prevent the “near-miss” occurring again with potential harm associated with it.

Some organisations celebrate low reported numbers of near-misses. However, many do this without closely determining what the low numbers mean? Did the near-misses not happen, or is it more likely that staff are just not reporting them?

Safety professionals agree that implementing a near-miss or close call reporting system works to rectify potential hazards and injuries.

Near-miss reporting is often described as a gift – because it hasn’t caused harm but instead is a wake-up call that something could have gone wrong if adequate controls weren’t put in place.

Near-miss reporting adds value in an organisation when it is treated in a proactive way – used to improve the workplace and move towards rectifying risks. At the same time support needs to be given to those who report the near-miss, and the learning that comes out of the near-miss or close call needs to filter through the whole organisation.

Why don’t people report near-misses?

There are five common reasons why employees / contractors don’t report near-misses or close calls.

  1. The fear of management reprisal. This could be; the fear of losing your job for speaking up, being branded a snitch or implicating others in the cause or the impact of the near-miss. For contractors it could be the fear of loss of reputation, work or an entire contract.
  2. Nothing happens. Near-miss reporting is seen as a ‘tick and flick’ requirement for management. The person reporting the near-miss does not ever hear or see what happens once they have submitted their report.
  3. The paperwork gets in the way. It’s just too much trouble to start up the paper trail which will go nowhere, so why should we all bother creating more work for everyone?
  4. What’s a near-miss and what do I have to report on? The uncertainty of what constitutes a near-miss and of exactly what has to be reported and sometimes even how to report it.
  5. It’s no biggie. The perception that it is ‘just something that happens in the line of work we do’.

10 Steps to encourage near miss reporting

  1. Train people in hazard identification. This has your people thinking proactively about hazards before they escalate into near misses. Safety Dimensions can help you with this.
  2. Remind your leaders and frontline staff that near misses being reported – especially if there have been a few in the past – are opportunities to improve, not slacken the focus on safety systems and procedures.
  3. Look for and share stories of where near miss reporting and rectifications have stopped a major incident or seek out and share near miss reports and how they are being responded to on a daily basis.
  4. Work collaboratively to work out a system to report near misses. i.e. potential for severe harm to people, plant/ assets, environment (high-risk). Keep it simple so everyone knows what to do and how to report.
  5. Make the reporting system easy to use and with the ability to collect useful data for rectification – this might mean you need to develop an anonymous reporting system, using technology i.e. online, an incident hotline, dedicated text message number or a mobile app.
  6. Encourage verbal reporting. You may need to start by doing the paper-work for your team.
  7. Praise whoever submits a near miss report. Let everyone know this is how they can play their part in stopping major incidents based on their reporting, before it happens again. The difference between complacency and speaking up (about a near miss or hazard) can make the difference between no one getting hurt, an injury or a tragic fatality.
  8. ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING. You’ve been given a wake-up call by a near-miss, now use that knowledge of what ‘could have happened’ to put in controls to eliminate or manage the risk immediately.
  9. At the end of each week, month or quarter, review the types of near misses that have occurred, with your team, to highlight trends and patterns to determine coaching / training / reinforcement/ procedure or systems review that your organisation needs to undertake to strengthen the area.
  10. Acknowledge the fact that your team sees near miss reporting as “the way things are done around here” and it’s no longer a tick and flick exercise.

Ready to train your people in hazard identification and risk management?

We have a range of programs that will train your people in hazard identification and risk management which we can tailor specifically to your industry organisational needs.

Training can be taken as individual training program (download all our course outlines here or the individual topics below) as part of one of our accredited programs:

10604NAT Certificate IV in Safety Leadership (WHS) – Construction

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 Risk Assessment including hazard identification, risk analysis.

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Participate In Incident Investigations.

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Coach others to use best practice safety thinking when investigating near misses, high potential incidents and other critical events.

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Employers & Managers: New Industrial Manslaughter Law In QLD

Employers & Managers: New Industrial Manslaughter Law In QLD

Negligent Employers & Senior Executives Can Be Charged With Industrial Manslaughter- New Queensland Laws

In a media statement from the Queensland government, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace announced new industrial manslaughter laws passed the parliament, leaving negligent employers culpable in workplace deaths with nowhere to hide.

In response to the tragic fatalities at Dreamworld and an Eagle Farm work site in 2016, the Queensland government undertook a Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety in Queensland. The creation of the new offence of industrial manslaughter was one of 58 recommendations contained in the report.  Industrial manslaughter allows the criminal prosecution of owners and employers for workplace deaths.

“Negligent employers culpable in workplace fatalities in Queensland will face severe penalties for the new offence of industrial manslaughter,” said Minister Grace.

“Individuals guilty of industrial manslaughter will face 20 years imprisonment, with corporate offenders liable for fines of up to $10 million. These penalties send out a strong message to all employers that negligence causing death won’t be tolerated under any circumstances.

“Because of increasingly elaborate corporate structures, up until now, it’s been difficult to prosecute some employers for manslaughter.

“But these new laws will hold all employers – regardless of their size or structure – accountable for negligence contributing to a worker’s death.

According to the review, worker representatives and plaintiff lawyers favour the creation of an offence of gross negligence causing death, while industry groups and other legal professional groups favoured retaining the status quo.

To date, the only Australian jurisdiction which had a specific industrial manslaughter type offence was the Australian Capital Territory.

“The legislation passed today is all about ensuring all Queensland workers can return home safely to their loved ones after a day’s work.”

Sources:

Queensland Government Media Release:
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2017/10/12/new-industrial-manslaughter-laws-to-protect-queenslanders-on-the-job

Best Practice Review Of Workplace Health and Safety:
https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/143521/best-practice-review-of-whsq-final-report.pdf

Safety Dimensions will update this page as more news comes to hand about what this means in practice for the QLD safety community.

National Report on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

The National Mental Health Commission’s National Report on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

>> Download The National Report on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

This report provides a high‑level summary of the reform journey in Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention systems since the National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) presented Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities – Report of the National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services2 (the Review) to the Australian Government at the end of 2014.

Since the delivery of that report, Australia has been undergoing significant changes to services, programs and policies in mental health and suicide prevention, as well as in primary health care, disability, housing and social services. These changes have not only been at the national level, but also at the jurisdictional and local levels, through state and territory governments and many local initiatives. Acknowledging the considerable work being undertaken at all levels, this report focuses on the initiatives being announced and progressed at the national level.

Part 1 outlines the key recommendations of the Review, the Australian Government’s response, areas of subsequent progress and where further work is
needed.

Part 2 provides more detail about some of the issues in monitoring and reporting mental health and suicide prevention, and the Commission’s ongoing role and plans for further work in this area throughout 2017. This is supported by a snapshot of currently available data for selected indicators of mental health consumer and carer outcomes in Appendix A.

Part 3 sets out where our work the Commission be taking us during the implementation stage of the reforms.

This report is also supported by a compilation of personal stories and case studies from mental health consumers, carers and service providers.

Republished under Creative Commons www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au


Get Help – 24 Hour Emergency Services

Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back – 1300 659 467

Kids Help Line – 1800 551 800

Corporate Manslaughter: what is it and could it bring justice for Grenfell Tower victims?

Related posts: Queensland Industrial Manslaughter: New Laws


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Ioannis Glinavos, University of Westminster.

The disaster at Grenfell Tower has been described by David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, as a case of “corporate manslaughter”. According to English law, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures, resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care.

Amid calls for arrests, it’s time to consider whether the failings that led to the Grenfell disaster could possibly justify the use of the label “corporate manslaughter” – and what this would mean for victims who seek justice.

Prosecutions for this offence are of a corporate body (defined broadly enough to include public authorities) and not individuals – so we probably won’t see any pictures of executives being led away in handcuffs. That said, directors, board members and others may still be liable to prosecution under health and safety law or general criminal law. The offence also covers contractors and sub-contractors, so long as they owe a duty of care to the victims.

A duty of care is an obligation, whereby an organisation must take reasonable steps to protect a person’s safety. Legally, it is broadly understood as avoiding negligence by not placing people in danger. These duties also exist in relation to workplaces and equipment, as well as to products or services supplied to customers. This suggests that when an entity exercises control over people and spaces it has a responsibility to protect them.

The corporate manslaughter offence uses the same definitions of duty of care as the common law offence of gross negligence manslaughter. This means that the threshold for the offence is high – the way that activities were managed or organised must have fallen seriously far below reasonable standards.

The consequences

Any organisation convicted of this offence would face a fine of anywhere between £180,000 and £20m (though there is no hard maximum limit). They would also be handed a publicity order, which requires them to publicise the conviction, along with certain details of the offence, as specified by the court. The court can also set a remedial order, requiring the organisation to address the cause of the fatal injury, which in this case could have consequences for similar tower blocks.

While there is no direct precedent for this kind of tragedy – involving massive loss of life for non-workers – to help us estimate penalties, some indications can be gleaned from the fines imposed on rail operators for train accidents. In 2003, Thames Trains and Network Rail were fined over £2m and £4m respectively, in relation to the health and safety breaches that led to the 1999 Ladbroke Grove train crash, which killed 31 people. And in 2006, Network Rail was fined £3.5m and Balfour Beatty an eventual £7.5m (following an appeal) for faults leading to the fatal derailment of a train near Hatfield in 2000.

It’s also possible for an organisation to be charged with both corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences in the same proceedings. In these circumstances, if an organisation is convicted of corporate manslaughter the jury may still be asked to return a verdict on the health and safety charges if the interests of justice so require, which can have further consequences for individuals.

Potential defendants

Corporate manslaughter is an extremely serious offence, reserved for the very worst cases of corporate mismanagement leading to death. Even before knowing the full extent of the Grenfell disaster, it’s safe to say that it is likely to fall in this category.

Potential defendants in this case – should one eventually be brought – would probably include the building’s management company, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), and possibly also contractors involved in the tower’s recent renovation.

But advocates for the victims are likely to be looking further than that, seeking to challenge the behaviour of public authorities and political decisions about spending on improvements to social housing in London. Prosecutions of public authorities would have far-reaching political consequences.

If the defendant is a public authority, exemptions may apply to decisions about public policy. For example, strategic funding decisions and other matters involving competing public interests, cannot be challenged in criminal proceedings. But decisions about how resources were managed are not exempt, which means that deliberate under-investment in maintaining safety could lead to prosecutions.

According to the law, the offence is concerned with how an organisation’s activities were managed or organised. So, courts will look at management systems and practices across the organisation in question, and investigate whether an adequate standard of care was applied. A substantial part of the failing must have occurred at a senior management level for a conviction to be successful.

Juries would be required to consider the extent to which an organisation was in breach of health and safety requirements, and assess how serious those failings were. They would also consider wider cultural issues within the organisation, such as attitudes or practices that tolerated health and safety breaches. What’s more, it would not be necessary for the management failure to have been the sole cause of death, so a tenant’s actions in starting this fire would not exonerate those responsible for inadequate safety measures.

The ConversationFor now, London is in mourning. But when the immediate phase has passed, the law will turn its attention to those who may be responsible, and see that justice is carried out.

Ioannis Glinavos, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Westminster

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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