This season of our year is a time of high expectations, anticipation and most of all transition!!! As a safety professional, transition means that we’re seeing the predominant hazards move to STF as a result of associates rushing to get out of the cold with ice/snow and black ice from sudden temperature changes thrown in for good measure. We also begin to see challenges with associate’s tight muscles from cold weather causing strains and overexertion if not properly warmed up before beginning their tasks.
From a behavior-based perspective we notice that the hectic holiday season, with our myriad of activities, commitments and additional errands, brings with it a higher than usual distraction “quotient” in even the most routine tasks and a sense of hurry and bustle in almost any and all activities. All of this provided the “sauce for the holiday goose” often resulting in additional associate safety opportunities.
So what to do??? Perhaps the answer is easier than we think – stay the course; you and your team have been working and adjusting your safety success business plan for weeks/months/years. Do any minor adjustments as per your normal methods and keep the safety culture conversation going. Continue to vocally recognize associates doing the many things they do to own their personal safety and support others around them. Thank them whenever you see their successes large and small. Keep the ongoing current messages valid for the hazard opportunities as they develop.
I find that I’m always energized by spending time with my safety comrades-at-arms at sessions such as ASSE and other likeminded activities – I highly recommend it!!! That “elbow rubbing” is a tonic to the usual impersonal communications so widespread in our daily world – texting, email, LinkedIN, Facebook, Web Ex, Skype AND worse of all Twitter ad-nauseam. I always come away with a new idea or a new way of looking at a problem I’ve been pondering. Let me be the first one to greet you and tell you, as a good friend is fond of reminding me, “You are Appreciated!!!” I leave you with this favorite quote I ran into years ago for your upcoming 2018 – attributed to Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury in Lancaster England in 1168 –
Give us Lord, a bit o’ sun, A bit o’ work and a bit o’ fun;
Give us all in the struggle and sputter, Our daily bread and a bit o’ butter.
ASSE Delmarva Chapter President