Bridget Leathley is a freelance health and safety consultant, providing risk management support in facilities, retail and office environments. She delivers face-to-face safety training including IOSH and bespoke courses, and contributes to e-learning courses through evaluations and design work. She has been writing for health and safety publications since 1996.
Articles related to Biography
When there is an emergency, our natural fight-or-flight response can result in poor decision making. The traditional solution to this problem has been emergency drills – to make our instinctive reaction to the fire alarm or other alert the “right” one. The worker hears the bell and evacuates the building or site. The firefighter sees a blaze and tackles it. However, such a drill-and-practice approach is of little use when the unexpected is encountered or when the situation is constantly changing. Here, a different plan is needed.
If you have come across kanban, it is probably either in lean manufacturing, where it started, or in software engineering, where it has been adopted with enthusiasm as an agile production technique. It could, however, be a valuable tool when applied to occupational safety and health.
In Managing the Risks of Organisational Accidents, published in 1997, James Reason described a “just culture” as “an atmosphere of trust in which people are encouraged, even rewarded, for providing essential safety-related information, but in which they are also clear about where the line must be drawn between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour”.
The new OSH management systems standard ISO 45001 prefers the term “interested party” to its synonym stakeholder, which might be more familiar to readers. Interested party is defined in ISO 45001 (and in the high-level ISO core management standard, Annex SL) as a “person or organisation that can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision or activity”.
The Hawthorne effect is often defined as the tendency for people to perform better because they are being observed. Wikipedia and other online sources even use the synonym “observer effect.” This is a massive oversimplification of the original study that gave the effect its name and oversimplification can lead to mistakes in how organisations try to encourage safer employee behaviour.
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