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Regulating Human Behavior with the ABC's of Safety

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Safety is Common. Why illnesses and injuries occur in the workplace. An expert in Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental says "Safety is Common" and human behavior can be regulated.

eTradeWire -- Kirk Menard is not only a Licensed Private Investigator but is also an Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Specialist and is considered by co-workers a subject matter expert (SME) in compliance and regulatory issues from refineries, LNG plants, drilling/ completion operations, and construction activities.

According to Menard, "Safety is Common." The common part of the phrase is "common sense". Menard relates that health, safety, security, and environmental is common sense that we use in every day lives and simplicity and communication is essential to establish an illness and injury-free work place. In example, Menard says, when we cross the street we are trained early on to look both ways before crossing the street-Why? Because we are aware that moving vehicles or in the world of safety, energy, is on the streets and we can be hit by a vehicle if we aren't aware of being struck by a vehicle. Why should this simplicity be ignored, overlooked or not considered in the industrial workforce?

Menard stated that regulating human behavior is key to eliminating work place illnesses and injuries. When asked if we can regulate human behavior, Menard does not hesitate when he responds with an astounding Yes. Human behavior can be regulated and is an essential component to health, safety, security, and environmental  structures in the work place. But how do we regulate human behavior? Menard responds with the simple phrase that he terms the "ABC" of safety. the "A" is antecedent, the "B" is behavioral, and the "C" is consequence. According to Menard, wiring or re-wiring a worker's mindset is not as complex as it sounds. In fact, says Menard, our behaviors are regulated everyday without even knowing it. In example, you are late for work (the antecedent) and are cautioned to drive slow but refuse the drive slower because you are late for work (behavior) and you are stopped by law enforcement and receive a ticket (consequence). Remedy would be time management such as leaving for work earlier by pre-planning, in turn your behavior allows you to drive slow, and the consequence is positive where you do not receive a ticket or get into an accident. Menard states, simplicity but how do you change the mindset of what Menard proposes? Menard says through training and education where you change the negative ABC from negative to positive. But if you manage over 2,000 workers, how can you change the mindset of 2,000 employees? According to Menard, you don't concentrate on all 2,000 employees. Menard says each employee is accountable and responsible for their own risk. Health, Safety, Security and Environmental (also known as HSSE) begins at the top and filters down to the workers. Menard continues that by training first-line supervisors and managers in the ABC of safety allows for changing the mindset of those responsible for the safety rules such as first-line managers and supervisors, which lead by example and continually coach and mentor those under them why HSSE is important and why safety is common.

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Menard says when a company uses simplicity in its approach to HSSE, its more understandable and complexity is removed from the equation where supervisors, managers and workers can quickly understand and interpret policies and procedures, along with the reasons for hazard identification, reporting and correcting hazards, and instructing others in hazard identification. Menard states that when he investigates the root cause of an accident, also known as root cause analysis, Menard says he uses the five W's or the five "Why's. Again, simplicity says Menard. The five W's, which Menard terms the "tree steps of accident investigation" is simple to understand and can lead to other explanations why an accident occurred and prevent reoccurrence. The five why's, says Menard is a interative interrogative technique used to explore the cause and effect of an underlying problem. The five why's, continue Menard says that the technique can be used along with four other techniques such as the Fishbone, Pareto, Scatter Plot, or Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. Menard says "you have to think outside the box when making decisions and be creative. Menard, a profiler, can detect when an accident is about to occur in the work place and has been in safety for 30 years. Menard uses creativity, his skills as a profiler, and the industry standard tools for preventing illnesses and incidents in the work place. Menard states that the tools are there to discover why an accident occurred but he would rather prevent accidents and incidents before using those tools. Menard continues that prevention is the best remedy to avoid illness and injuries.

Asked why major oil and gas companies continue to have major accidents, illnesses and injuries, Menard says after auditing some of the major oil and gas industries over the years, he has found that the policies, procedures, work procedures, and buy-in from management is to complex. "People cannot perform what they don't understand" says Menard.

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In closing, Menard says his passion is safety similar to a hobby and if every worker goes comes to work safe and goes home safe, Menard says he leaves work with a smile on his face and considered that his job was done for that day. "One day at a time", says Menard and you have company that is raising the bar and leading the industry in safety and that is his vision of his work-product.

Jason Meyers

Source: Jason Meyers
Filed Under: Engineering

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