Safety on a budget
So, petrol is cheap again. While some Australians are cheering all the way to the bowser, oil and gas industries are reeling. Budgets and head counts are being reduced while targets and objectives remain firm.
So what can we do? It needs to be much more than just getting the basics right and doing safety on a shoestring.
Here are five suggestions for improving safety performance on a budget:
- Formalise a ‘leadership site visit’ program and ensure leaders are armed with questions that address when work is difficult to do and are aimed at the right level of the workforce. Lead from the top, especially during times of uncertainty and challenge
- Audit and streamline your paperwork. Ensure that every form is necessary, as short as possible as well as effectively achieving what it's meant to. Ask yourself the tough question on an average day how much time are people filling in forms and paper work and are we meaningfully using the collected data?
- Forget the poster campaigns. They often just clutter and confuse important messages. Maybe use some reverse engineering and ask people what they understand the key messages to be, and if you are game go one step further and ask are we delivering against these commitments?
- Skip highly structured rewards and incentives. A simple ‘thank you’ from a leader in front of other workers is often all that is needed. Do this for 3 months and see what's different at the end of the time from both a leader and a worker's perspective.
- Ensure your pre-start and post shift meetings are working well. Ask yourself the tough questions, would anyone miss these meetings if they didn't happen and would our risk really increase if we didn't meet? If you get a no to one or both questions it's not an excuse not to meet but rather a compelling reason to do something about it.
Whilst it may not feel like it at the time, it’s the hard times that make us stronger and could we dare say smarter. We can look at this Oil Shock or any economic downturn, as a means (not an excuse) for streamlining processes and introducing efficiencies. When the economic uplift returns we’ll be a step ahead of the rest!
About Generative HSE
Generative HSE is one of Australia’s leading providers of safety and risk solutions providing a range of innovative, evidence-based WHS consultancy, training and facilitation services. Our work results in visible, sustainable improvements to safety and risk performance, as well as increased productivity, quality and profitability.