February 10 2019
By: Terry L. Mathis
A recent client who had acquired several new companies was attempting to unify the safety practices of the various entities. A number of 1-3 page procedures which had produced excellent results in one company was being replaced with 30-50 page procedures that often omitted the most effective steps of the old procedures. These procedures were being created by the legal department, not the safety department. The new procedures were being sent out without any summary, explanation or training, and compliance was expected immediately. Safety department personnel were asked to "police" this change when they had not helped create, nor been briefed on, the new procedures themselves. It is amazing that organizations pursue progress this way and even more amazing that they hire consultants to tell them why they are not working.
I totally understand organizations that want to protect the company from liability but don't condone letting that goal replace the one of protecting the workers from injury. By the way, the workers who actually perform the jobs were not involved or asked about any of these procedural changes either.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.