I’ve had several conversations with safety people about response to events and incidents on site. One mate on a tier 1 site explains the Safety Advisor role as simply ‘demoralising’. So I thought I would try to mimic the typical safety spud head response to an incident.
(Spud walks in the door)
Bill: Hey Spud, where have you been?
Spud: Sorry, my phone has been playing up.
Bill: Well, there’s been an accident down near the batch plant, you better call Leo.
Spud: Thanks Bill, can I use your phone otherwise I will have to use my personal phone? Last month I quibbled for an hour with Admin about my bill.
Bill: OK, but it’s a boomerang.
(Spud calls Leo)
Spud: Leo, what’s happened.
Leo: It’s Sam, he seems to have got himself pinned with the trailer.
Spud: What do you mean?
Leo: Well, it slipped off the dolly wheel and the trailer brake was not applied. He didn’t chock the wheels either.
Spud: Well, is he injured?
Leo: I think so, he’s lying on the ground and the boys are looking after him.
Spud: What kind of injury is it? Medical treatment or worse? God, last time I had an LTI cost me weeks and the boss reamed me for two days. We’ve been zero for 12 months so far.
Leo: We think he may have a broken leg.
Spud: Oh, that’s all I need. Who is doing first aid?
Leo: Peter, Should we call an ambulance?
Spud: Hold on Leo, let’s just think about this. We may be able to sort this out on site.
Leo: He’s moaning in a lot of pain.
Spud: Well, haven’t we got Panadol or something? Is Peter there, what does he classify the injury as?
Leo: Pete thinks he may need to go to hospital.
Spud: Damn, I’ll have to get the laptop and some work together for Sam, we may be able to just classify this as just a medical treatment.
Leo: I don’t know, his leg looks pretty mangled.
Spud: Yeah, but you know what’s going to happen if we don’t meet zero this month don’t you?
Leo: Yep, a boss reaming coming up for you my son, last safety guy got sacked over less than this one. Says ‘safety is a choice you make’.
Spud: Yes, I’ve been able to keep the LTIs low for a year now, I thought our culture was really improving. Stupid Sam, what an idiot. Common sense would tell you that dual wheel trailer needs the brake on and wheels chocked. He was inducted and everything.
Leo: Yes, but we are under the pump down here, behind on the pour and lost time with rain the last few weeks.
Spud: Can I talk to Sam, maybe we can avoid the ambulance and I can take him quietly down to the doctor’s surgery. It never looks good when the Ambulance shows up.
Leo: Well what are we going to do?
Spud: Help me find another job.
Leo: No, I mean with Sam.
Spud: I will come right down after the zero harm advisor meeting and let you know. The CEO only wants to hear good news. This is gonna make my charts look bad. He thinks ‘all accidents are preventable’.
Leo: I think Sam needs an ambulance and the union boys are getting a bit hostile.
Spud: Bugger the union, our stats are more important than they imagine.
Leo: Cancel your meeting and come down, we are calling the ambulance now.
Spud: OK, just let me change the injury charts and I jump on SEEK this afternoon and start looking.
(Spud grabs his checklists, folders, ipad, camera and leaves for the batch plant)