OHS Canada Magazine

Safety Logically is hard work, but worth it

How to refocus and re-energize your health and safety efforts


August 4, 2020
By Alan Quilley
Alan Quilley
Categories
Health & Safety

I hope you’ve been following along with the discussion about implementing Safety Logically.

My 10 tenets continue with the last four interdependent keys to success:

Recognize the need for the psychosocial aspects of your safety efforts

More so than ever before, our need to understand the mental health of our employees is in the forefront.

Psychosocial influences on the well-being of humans can be managed. Ensure you’re aware of your company’s employee and family assistance program.

Of course, don’t hesitate to use the services yourself. Some days it’s very hard to be a change agent. It’s not a weakness to get help with daily struggles.

In Canada we have a wonderful resource thanks to the CSA — CAN/CSA-Z1003-13/BNQ 9700-803/2013 – Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

I highly recommend that you learn more and integrate these important recommendations in to your health and safety efforts.

Be patient. Change takes time — quick fixes rarely last

There always seems to be a sense of urgency related to addressing health and safety issues. I don’t believe that will change anytime in the near future.

What we do need to embrace is that true change takes time. We can’t wave a magic wand to change behaviours and physical aspects of our work.

Be patient with people as they learn the desired new normal. Avoid “flavour of the week.”

Keep learning what works and let go of what doesn’t

It’s all important in a logical approach to implementing anything to look for evidence of efficacy.

If you have an idea to improve something, take the time to build in regular measures to confirm that your efforts are getting results.

Implementing change is a process and needs to include measuring and looking for evidence of improvement.

We also need to not place past approaches on an unattainable pedestal and never challenge that there could be a better way.

Stay connected and informed on what is new and should be considered

The world is a very small place. There are so many sources of information at our fingertips that we need to plan to keep in touch with those sources.

LinkedIn and professional safety associations like the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and the Women in Occupational Health & Safety Society (WOHSS) are only three examples of the numerous connections safety practitioners and professionals can make to stay in tune with what is current.

Our reality of dealing with a worldwide pandemic has demonstrated that we are all in this together and ideas can be more easily shared than ever before.

Get connected and stay connected. I’ve been fortunate enough to develop some very good friendships from LinkedIn connections from around the world.

Most importantly, read, read, read! I subscribe to several digital professional magazines — including this one, of course. OHS Canada has been a source of current issues and trends for decades.

In addition, find out what your company’s management team is reading. Stay on top of the current thinking and decision-making best sellers. What your boss is interested in, you should be fascinated by!

I hope this series has helped you logically refocus and re-energize your efforts to help people work and play in a healthy and safe manner.

I’ll leave you with this inspiring quote by Arthur L. Williams Jr.: “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy — I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

Alan D. Quilley, CRSP, is the president of Safety Results in Sherwood Park, Alta.

This Safety Management column appears in the July/August 2020 issue of OHS Canada.