So, how do we motivate people to (a) accept and then recognize a 'hazard' might exist; and (b) accept and therefore behave in a way that the hazard poses a risk of an accident?
I'm a safety officer, and was a safety nco while I was in the army. I like to consider myself a pretty safe guy, and I practice what I teach in safety. I am the guy who looks for what can go wrongThat does not mean that I am always safe nor incident free. I am human.Last Friday, I had to move an engine underneath a pickup on a hoist. Prior to moving the engine past the pickup, I looked all around, and didn't see anything in the road that I was going to smack. I went and grabbed the engine with the pallet jack, and pulled it towards the exit of the bay. Next thing I know, there is a huge pain behind my left ear, and my head slams forward right onto the handle of the pallet jack just above my right eye.I had completely missed seeing the receiver hitch on the back of the truck, and backed into it.Other than a nasty headache and a couple of bumps, there was no serious injury.The takeaway from this, as I see it, is: that even those of us that take safety into consideration for everything we do, we can and will make mistakes, and that we need to keep safety in perspective of what we are doing. This includes owning up to when we have mishaps.
Here's a good example of complacency or "assumption blindness" or something.I went back and forth in the basement, garage, and office a dozen times looking for that bag.Apparently there were places in my mind that I simply "knew" it couldn't be, so even though I "saw" it a bunch of times, I didn't "see" it until the light was just different enough to cause the one side to light up a bit when I opened the rear door.When I've got my work lights on, but not the regular ones, that area is in a bit of shadow, and I presume the black case blended into the relatively black screw drawers and created a blind spot there which my mind had decided could not be the hiding place, even though it's literally at my eye level. Logically, why would I ever put my headset bag on top of my drill press?A good example of something hiding in plain site which could just as well be a hazard I'd had decided wasn't there.If I had taken the time to really "search" instead of "looking" (meaning discarding pre-conceived notions about where "it must be" and actively scanning the whole garage), I probably would have found it quickly.I don't think this is a case where a lecture on the subject would make any difference, however a practical with examples, might. We used something similar in cycle training - "Rider Radar" exercises where short examples are shown that may, or may not contain hazards, and then you stop to hear what the students saw, and what their approach would be to mitigate risk - there are no "right" answers, only options.It engages the brain activity, while stressing that there are usually no set answers for safety issues, only possible avenues for mitigation or remediation.It might be interesting to put together something like that for safety briefings.
I tend to agree with those that said that safety is primarily about learning to do "things" the "right" way. I'm not sure that formal generic "safety" education is really necessary or does all that much for the average person. Those with specific safety responsibilities should have more formal training in this area so as to provide effective oversight. The problem CAP has and which probably isn't that different from that faced by most employers is that there are a very small, specific set of actions that we have a high degree of responsibility for ensuring that the persons engaging in them perform the "right" way, however this is just a subset of all the actions performed. For example, in my real world work most people have college degrees in the field, but are often expected to engage in some manual labor type tasks. So, a lot of the workplace injuries have nothing to do with what the person actually has formal training in. In this case injuries often involve things like basic woodworking or use of other small power tools. I have some responsibility in this area and am struggling to balance out when we need to provide formal training for some of these things and when we shouldn't. The equivalent in CAP may be something like the task of driving a CAP vehicle. We don't provide drivers training and don't evaluate people's abilities to drive other than making sure that they have a license. This is an area where there is a decent probability of a significant accident that could involve loss of life. Should we evaluate the abilities of drivers like we do pilots before letting them drive our vehicles? Provide specific supplemental training (perhaps a defensive driving course)? Or just depend on random inclusion of driving-related topic in local safety talks of unknown accuracy or usefulness?
I am glad you pointed it out that volunteers have other parts of the work to do and that safety is important in that aspect but may not be a familiar part of that specific situation. That is something that could be done better. From my perspective it is a challenge for me in CAP. Though I have a BS in Safety and an MS in Emergency Management I am not a pilot, when I try to have those “safety conversations” in general and they ask if I am a pilot and I say no there has been an automatic assumption that I won’t understand what they are talking about.
Quote from: capsafety on February 20, 2017, 12:08:22 PMI am glad you pointed it out that volunteers have other parts of the work to do and that safety is important in that aspect but may not be a familiar part of that specific situation. That is something that could be done better. From my perspective it is a challenge for me in CAP. Though I have a BS in Safety and an MS in Emergency Management I am not a pilot, when I try to have those “safety conversations” in general and they ask if I am a pilot and I say no there has been an automatic assumption that I won’t understand what they are talking about.There's a couple ways this could be happening.The first is on you. I'm not a pilot, but I do have a responsibility to ensure the safe conduct of operations, both air and ground. Tone is important when you discuss safety issues with groups where you may not have as deep of a background as them (i.e. pilots, of which I am not one). I prefer to ask questions to elicit a verbal conversation on the flight safety, which both acknowledges their experience and requires them to think about the safety issues since we're talking about them. So, tone is important. I only bring this up because I've seen safety people, commanders, and a whole bunch of other people be on varying parts of the "correct tone spectrum", so I don't want to make any assumptions.The second is on them. If your tone is right and they literally don't want to have a conversation on the safety of an operation, then that's on them. A pilot like that would probably not remain a CAP pilot for very long in my AOR, but YMMV. "You're not a pilot so you don't understand" wouldn't fly for very long around here. "You're right, I'm not a pilot, and maybe I don't understand. Help me understand so I can keep you safe."