Current Content Employee Wellness

Workplace Fatigue May Be More Dangerous Than You Think

“Workplace safety makes most of us understandably think about proper training, proper equipment and a safe work environment,” said Kleinik, Illinois Department of Labor Director, in observance of June as National Safety Month. “But a good night’s sleep can be just as important as these other safety fundamentals. A tired worker can pose a serious […]

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Network9 grabs up PropertyWeb.co.za; Shares future plans

Network9 has secured a controlling interest in PropertyWeb.co.za and plans to take the property market information highway to the next level focusing on Property Risk Management and Compliance. As the former publisher of Sheqafrica.com, Africa’s largest resource for EHS Risk and Compliance, and co-owner of Africa Media,  Rudy Maritz and his team plans to create […]

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Complacency: “Cultural change takes time”

Many managers assume it takes years for a culture to change. Even those managers committed to change often have low expectations about the pace of improvement, while the uncommitted engage in passive resistance—they wait things out. In either case, the results are the same: a failure to enlist key influencers, generate momentum, and deliver the early […]

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Fatalism: “Injuries are part of the job”

A review of a European basic-materials manufacturer’s safety culture revealed that the company had a high tolerance for risk. Some operators said that 100 percent safety was impossible and that risk was part of the job. A maintenance operator explained that he sustained cuts and bruises on the job regularly but didn’t report them because […]

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Trade-off: “Safe means less productive”

An operator at a steel plant was adding alloys to a molten metal ladle. He was asked, “How do you know you’re doing it right?” The operator replied, “It depends. I have a metallurgic procedure in the blue binder and a safety procedure in the gray binder.” The operator, however, was using neither. This example […]

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Disempowerment: “Safety is someone else’s job”

At an Asian chemicals manufacturer, hand injuries accounted for about 50 percent of all serious injuries. When the management team arranged for operators to wear protective gloves, the number of hand injuries declined only slightly. It turned out that many operators decided not to wear the gloves because they made it difficult to perform some […]

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Fear of blame: “If I report an incident, I’ll be punished”

At a large transportation company, more than 60 percent of surveyed employees expressed concern about the consequences of reporting an injury. Upon joining field teams, new employees learn both from peers and supervisors the difference between a “true injury” and a “bruise”: the former should be reported and the latter should not. The message is […]

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Another Safety Checkbox Unnecessary

Health & Safety practice had over the years adopted a stance that an Independent business or contractor must provide a Tax Clearance certificate before any work can be done for an employer. Arguably this has nothing to do with H&S, but most practitioners wear more hats than just H&S and are often also acting as […]

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Safety ethics – Shades of Grey?

The practice of safety often has an ethical component. Often, the most ethical route is obvious, such as the choice between a legal option and an illegal one. Other times, multiple considerations may cloud a decision. As Chris Marlowe, health and safety manager at Cambridge, MA-based CDM Smith, said, “We’re trying to optimize several parameters […]

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The sun is setting on South Africa’s construction industry

South Africa’s once-thriving construction industry is crumbling. On Tuesday, Group Five – one of the largest builders in Africa – filed for bankruptcy protection after its creditors pulled funding. Group Five was founded in 1974. It employs 8000 people. The JSE has suspended trading in Group Five shares. They last traded at 89 cents, giving […]