January 9, 2018

Is your organization pulling people out of safety training or safety meetings?

In my long process safety consulting journey, I have seen really committed organizations who demonstrate their commitment to safety as well as those who don't really walk the talk. In one of the plants where I was implementing PSM, the Vice President of manufacturing came to the each of my training sessions 10 minutes before the sessions were starting even though he was not required to be part of that training session. He would stay for the first 15 minutes of every session and then leave. Initially, there were latecomers to the meeting, but when word went around that the Vice President himself is attending the start of each session, people started coming on time. In over 20 training sessions I had conducted, he never missed one. This was his way of demonstrating his commitment and operational discipline.
In a diametrically opposite example, I had started implementing PSM in a medium scale organization that was very hierarchical in nature and was run by the top boss ("Owner"). In the first session with top management, the top boss thought that it was not important for him to demonstrate his commitment because he had other "important" things to do, I tried explaining to him the importance of his commitment and involvement, but when things did not improve, I stopped the project.
In another organization, the bosses of the Vice President who was attending my sessions kept on sending messages to him to contact them to discuss some organizational issue, while the planned session was on, even though they knew he was in a process safety session. I tell such organizations.....get your act together or do not implement PSM at all. It will be a guaranteed failure!

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