Safety and Compliance

Safety and compliance are not the same thing, but are often thought of that way on the front line.

Safety and Compliance from Dave Whitefield on Vimeo.

Dave Whitefield
After 20 years in safety and training, I now focus primarily on the human side of safety. I help clients tackle their wicked problems through seeking to understand how people organise in response to uncertainty, and how they make sense of risk. I do this through consulting, coaching, training and workshop design and delivery, MC'ing events and conferences, and delivery of keynote presentations.

3 Replies to “Safety and Compliance”

  1. Really enjoyed that Dave, thank you. I work for a contractor whose clients value forms and checklists more than conversations or actions on site. This is particularly evident following an incident when the whole focus in on gathering those forms and checklists to prove we were compliant. Of course this is also driven by the legal system and the fear of litigation. There is often a lot of head scratching and puzzled looks as to how the incident occurred when all “the paperwork” was in place. The focus of the investigation invariably turns to the actions of the individual which results in another form or checklist being introduced.

  2. I can recall a visit from an executive leadership team to the construction of its “Jewel in the Crown” gas field facilities operating plant.

    This included “hypothesis testing”, which involved a behavioural safety observation on cladding contractors to ensure compliance with standard operating procedures. The checklists were littered with the usual militaristic descriptors such as “eyes on task”, “eyes on path” and “situational awareness”.

    The entire exercise failed to pick up that the two elevated work platforms being used for the task had been brought onto site by the contractor and circumvented project requirements covering use of powered mobile plant.

    The daily operational checks had been completed but the log books had been crossed over and did not correspond to the serial number on the equipment. Furthermore the quarterly mechanical inspection for each device was well overdue.

    Moreover, the contractors had been provided with a permit to work for the activity, which involved working at height and was also covered by a safe work method statement.

    This was not an isolated incident and just picking up an equipment log book and discussing with the contractor how he got to the position where he was about to begin work demonstrated the integrity of the system, which was pure form over substance.

  3. it seems that the contractor leader’s leadership on safety is very limited , it means 1. Learder (management) don’t put safety as crutial responsibility to the staff (who may be ensured by 3rd party ensurance company) and they think with “systems thinking”. 2. they may use temp. workers who are not well trained or “received” the training that are totally un-aware the consequences ,do not know what and how to do the work they are assigned to .properly.

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