جميع منشورات Justus Oluwatosin Coker . دبي و الامارات العربية الم

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Safety Platitude


Many organization use often mere platitude like "Safety is our Highest Priority, Safety First, Zero Harm Goal etc".

But the culture and the work environment tells something different. In many workplace, you see countless unsafe conditons and act, lack of safety resources, lack of management commitment and contributions by the organization to achieve the goal of Zero Harm as it may.


Many organizations are quick to set an unrealistic goal of "Zero Harm" in a workplace, knowing fully well that human error is inevitable. When a goal is unrealistic but can be achieved by cheating, then workers will cheat. They will commit fraud just to get incentive.


Does "Zero Harm" goal meet the SMART criteria? Apart from Zero as a binary, is it SPECIFIC? What harm does it consider? Is it just the First aid injury alone or an abrasion? Does the harm include a stress, depression, bullying and or psychological harm?

If the harm in which the goal is zero is not explicit then it becomes impossible or perhaps difficult to measure.


A recent podcast about ZERO HARM by Drew Rae and David Provan, in a research summarized from all available studies and their conclusion was that "if a company doesn't already have a goal of 'Zero' it probably should not adopt it and if the company does already have a 'Zero' goal, leaders need to make it clear that it is in place primarily to direct attention towards safety operation, rather than the numerical goal per se"


I agree to that, however, for the company with the Zero goal, I would say they should stop clamoring about it! Because whenever leaders/management mention all sort of platitude like "Zero Harm, Safety Is our Priority, Safety First" or what have you, somewhere in the room many of their workers are rolling their eyes!


The leaders, Senior staffs/Management need to start leading by example by doing what has been shown to be valid and evidence based rather than glib, mere slogan that the workforce hears as hollow rhetoric.

Leaders should start to accept responsibility and duty of care rather than just what is easy or comfortable.

Leaders should embrace a means of authentic communication, a genuine two -way communication whereby they keep their employees well informed - rather they also are well informed by their employees to increase Trust and Psychological safety.


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