It has been interesting to hear all of the negative comments about oil & gas industry’s lack of safety in the recent Gulf disaster. Now friends, “I come not to praise Caesar, but to ”bury the public lack of ownership”. America loud voice of enablers with strong expectations of entitlement. Look at the growth in gambling, the States are trying to claim their piece of the get-rich-quick cash bonanza to solve budget shortfalls.
So what has this to do with safety in the Gulf? Excellent safety performance, and environmental protection as well, are not only parts of a person’s work. To be truly effective, the knowledge and attitude of safety must be part of one’s life 24/7. If safety is put on with the hard hat, it will not be the default thought or action in the crisis. The correct safe thought may surface, after the pressure of the decision/action moment; and that may be too late. The level of safety performance expected in the workplace after a disaster requires that the safe thought be the first and only thought. Unfortunately, the public holds those in the disaster to that standard, but not themselves.
The proper attitude is one of continuous responsibility for one’s self, and then for family, peers, community. For the focus of this blog, I’ll discuss only safety.
“Do you wear safety glasses when using the mower, weed whacker, drill, or hammer?”
“Do you refuse to use a cell phone, to talk or text, while driving? “
“Do you reach out to others and share your safety awareness? “
if you answered “no” to these questions, you may be counting on luck for your safety.
The most effective safety programs are no different than an extreme performance team, e.g., sports or military. Where a standard of “I’ve got your back.” and “I am helping you achieve great performance as well as you, mine.” is held as key. To be credible in such an environment begins with self competence. Constant education and practice is the path to competence. A path that will not be trod until the attitude is correct, safety is my responsibility, every minute and every day. A powerful quote from the movie Gandhi that has influenced me in my actions is “One cannot be honorable in one part of his life, and dishonorable in another.” To be true to our values, we must be consistent.
For if we are not, perhaps the reason that the outrage over the Oil & Gas industry’s argument it hasn’t happened in a long time is due to our recognition of that thinking. We too live our lives on luck – that those accidents happen to other people, not to me.