Latest post by Sarah-Jane who I know, like me, is looking forward to starting her post grad studies in social psychology of risk and writing more about people rather than objects. She also has some quirky new videos on the way (this one was a big hit: What Safety Means to Me) so watch this space.
See the original article here
There’s no taming of this beast, but you can reduce the risk
You can’t wrap yourself up in cotton wool in the hope that it will protect you and still play at the top of your game.
I am a self-confessed safety nerd but I am also a lover of dirt bike riding and all things adrenaline.
Businesses ask me all the time “how far do you take safety”? They say things like “What happened to ‘yeah mate, I stuffed up’?”. This may be all well and good for kicks and scratches, but what about the serious injuries, the ones where people may never get back to their full potential? They can’t just move on.
Workplaces need to get on top of their game and look for all the ways that injuries can happen and fix them before they turn into an injury.
If you look at dirt bike riding, I could just get rid of my beloved bike and I’d be a lot safer, but I don’t want to do that, so I’ve tried to reduce the risk as far as reasonably practicable.
I’ve tried to identify every reasonably foreseeable thing that could go wrong and tried to fix each one of these as much as I can.
I’ve lowered the suspension slightly so my short legs can touch the ground, I’ve also put protection around the sharp edges of the number plate so it doesn’t become a flying knife if I have a big fall. I plan the trails I want to ride in line with my experience and those that I ride with, I ride within my limits and slow down at blind corners and take it slow on challenging rocks and we always take emergency supplies and a first aid kit. A big part is my protective equipment – top quality helmet, boots, elbow and knee covers and so on.
Just like in business, when it comes to dirt bike riding you can’t get rid of the risk all together but you can try and do everything you can to reduce risk.
When you are coming up with all the reasonably foreseeable things that can go wrong in your workplace take into account past history, industry examples and ask the people who are doing the job what they think could go wrong and observe who they act and they do their job.
Then try to get rid of the hazards or reduce the risk of them turning into an injury, as far as is reasonably practicable.
This may be by modifying equipment, separating the danger from the people doing the job, better training and supervision, or better PPE.
At the end of the day, as an employer you never want to think ‘I could have prevented that injury, but I was too busy’, or ‘I wish I spent that extra money to fixing that hazard, this would never have happened’.
If you would like to reduce risk in your workplace, I urge you to get in touch.