You've worked hard at bringing a safety and health process together that is effective. You have a solid job hazard analysis process that is gradually growing to include all the various jobs and tasks in high risk/hazard areas. But you still feel that you're hitting headwinds of resistance or lack of understanding from employees, especially the younger crowd. What could it be? What is the mindset that you're dealing with that may be entering the workplace?
Check out this video
In researching for examples of pallet fires, I came across this video. It was taken at a beach party and provided a good example of the flue effect in a pallet fire. In listening to the audio, I heard the people shouting at the pallet stack. Then I saw movement on the pallet stack. Someone is on the flaming stack! And his friends are joking, laughing and very casual about the excessive danger that the person is in. "Good practice if your house is on fire!" was one shout out.
While this may be an extreme example, a quick tour of YouTube can find numerous examples of extreme risk taking. While taking a controlled risk can add spice to life, why has our system of personal health and safety training failed to get a broader acceptance of living safe? Are we losing the battle in keeping a reasonable level of acceptance of risk? If people take major risk in their personal lives, might they bring the same into the workplace, not ever realizing that mindset must be left outside or rejected totally? They may not even aware that that mindset is a life threatening issue?
We can never assume that the audience we speak to has the fundamental understanding about what basic hazards are and how they can cause harm. Whether electrical, chemical, thermal, kinetic, biological, radiation, or acoustic, we simply can't assume the basics are in place. This may be applied across the board to all personnel, regardless of where they are in the hierarchy of the organization.
Something to think about during your next safety meeting or JHA session when you get a blank stare after you bring up a concern over a hazardous situation.
James Roughton and I are researching aspects of safety culture and climate as part of our book on developing an effective safety culture using human performance improvement concepts. In addition, see Safety Culture Plus for current insights from James Roughton. This concern is an aspect of a safety mindset that we intent to address in the new edition.