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Unexpected acknowledgment from an unexpected source.

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    • #9495

      Thank you for sharing how positive feedback & acknowledgment can be beneficial — even in the case of highly regulatory disciplines.  I believe describing what is “working well” motivates others to best practices — just as well as fines or write-ups of findings.  And certainly pointing out & correcting weaknesses are critical for human safety.  Looking out for one another — even from physical standpoint are part of what grateful leadership is all about 🙂

    • #9494

      Every Wednesday, my company participates in a business unit wide web discussion on our safety culture. We go over the various lagging and leading indicators. But our approach is a bit different than I had been used to in the past. We look at a low number of injuries or near hits (we don’t call them near misses) as a problem. We want to hear about any injury or near hit because the more issues we hear about, the more hazards we can eliminate. Well there was one individual we did not know that was present at the business unit conference room, until he asked to speak before we finished. IT was a representative from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. Usually, hearing from an OSHA rep usually means we are getting a finding and a fine. But this was different. Very different.
      He started with a recap of his experiences with our business unit from over 10 years ago, which was the typical visit, finding and fine process. Then he spoke about the web conference that we just completed. It was very surprising and refreshing to hear an OSHA rep speak so highly of the way we communicate to each other about our safety issues and how we deal with them. We share to highlight issues that may also be present at other facilities and offer support to correct them. He spoke of how impressed he was with the way we communicated so openly and honestly with each other and how he appreciated the efforts we have made over the last decade to make the improvements we have. Additionally there was a VP from another business unit there as well, who followed with similar praise. He told us that his business unit also discusses their safety information, but not to the length and depth we do. He even mentioned that we pay such close attention to the point of asking the reporting facility if they have done enough to eliminate the issue, and offer ideas have worked for them.

      Typically each Wednesday we end with a summary of topics discussed, benefits we have learned from each other and thoughts for the coming week. But to hear the acknowledgment from other business units and from an OSHA rep was very rewarding and greatly appreciated.

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