In order to overcome poor safety cultures, OHS professionals need to challenge their own behaviours, examine their affect in the workplace and look at how to engage others at work, according to an expert in the area of human performance.
“Humans find it hard to move from one interaction to another without dragging the energy, mindset or baggage of the first interaction to the next,” said Dr Adam Fraser, one of Australia’s leading educators, researchers and thought leaders in the area of human performance.
“As safety professionals we are challenged by a constantly changing and reactive environment, always focused on helping others and preventing further damage; it can often be very draining.”
Speaking ahead of the Safety Conference, to be held from 25 to 27 October 2011 in Sydney, Fraser said it can be tough to ‘show up’ all the time with the right mindset and give each interaction full attention and energy.
He gave the example of a manufacturing group who were having problems getting people to stick to safety policy.
“The problem was that the employees saw safety as unnecessary because they thought they were bullet proof and would never get hurt,” he said.
“In my research on the company I found out that the major accidents people had in the company were due to another person cutting corners. In other words when an individual did not stick to the safety policy they put their coworkers at risk.”
Fraser presented to them and talked about how they would feel if their actions led to a mate being injured or even killed, or how they would feel if they took away their livelihood and left their family struggling to survive.
“I then had a guy in the group talk about when he did not follow policy, which led to a coworker being seriously injured,” said Fraser.
“They went from thinking that not paying attention to safety was a cool/brave thing to do, and thinking about how their actions could hurt their mates.”
Fraser will be speaking at the upcoming Safety Conference, to be held from 25 to 27 October 2011 at the Sydney Showground and Sydney Olympic Park.
For more information visit www.thesafetyshow.com.au.