As the author says, this book is not a book about safety, it is a book about people. This book looks at the way that people think and act in the context of occupational safety and health. Understanding peoples’ attitude to work and how work is actually done, rather than how we perceive it to be done, can be a great help to OSH professionals.
This book reiterates key business and leadership approaches and techniques to managing people, but in a new way, focusing on the OSH professional.
The book is split into five chapters:
- The essentials of safety elements
- Leader’s perspectives: practices and routines
- Barriers and their remedies
- The essentials of safety as a driver of learning
- Assessing and measuring success
The introduction discusses in brief the concept of ‘safety’, how people think and highlights the overview of each chapter.
Chapter 1 explains why people do things, including looking at different mindsets. It also looks at how work is done in practice, compared with how others may do it and how it is done as written. It also discusses risk, in particular, risk intelligence.
Chapter 2 discusses leaders’ mindsets and understanding, as well as looking at coaching styles, listening and leadership approaches.
Chapter 3 goes into detail on the challenges and barriers that may arise in adopting the elements of safety and the remedies that can be employed to deal with them.
Chapter 4 discusses the idea that conversations that are had after workplace incidents should be the same as ones had before an incident occurs. This looks at areas such as work-planning, situational awareness and information-gathering.
Chapter 5 looks at auditing and measurement of safety management, including understanding of peoples’ behaviours and attitudes.
What does this book provide? Well, this book is not about technical occupational safety and health, nor does it discuss risk in the conventional sense. What this book does very well is providing the tools to understanding how people think and act, helping develop OSH professionals improve their soft skills and become better business professionals. As such, it is more suitable for IOSH members who already have a deeper understanding and experience of applying and creating OSH management systems and practices.
It will give OSH professionals the tools to develop themselves as leaders within businesses, by exploring the common elements that underlie safety, such as leadership, individuals, systems and cultures.
Much of the content contained in the book will help OSH professionals to communicate more effectively, as well as improving their understanding of active listening and coaching people as well as providing self-awareness.
With an emphasis of looking at how work is done in practice, compared with how it is envisioned or written, this book also gives OSH professionals the tools to develop a good OSH culture within their organisation. It also looks at people’s learning attitudes and mindsets, which can be invaluable in reviewing worker competence.
In each section, it was good to see that each section had multiple examples to help bring the concepts detailed to life.
This book would be recommended for OSH professionals who want to go beyond the role of a legal compliance and influencing their organisation on a more cultural level.
This book was reviewed by IOSH magazine's book club review team
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