‘Mindful’ Health & Safety Culture: Remaining Mindful Safety

‘Mindful’ Health & Safety Culture: Remaining Mindful

The real challenge

So often the trick to safe work is not so much teaching workers what to do, how to do it, and what to watch out for (important as all that is). It is teaching workers, especially the most experienced, how to stay mindful of their work, when they have “done it a thousand times.”

Workers should always have an explicit game plan, even for a fairly routine job, such that everyone knows his part, and how we will work together to achieve the goal.

It is essential that they communicate before, during and after a job. The before-communication includes going over the game plan, identifying any hazards, and making sure that all are on the same page going in. The during-communication part aims at creating accurate shared situational awareness.  Communicate to make sure everyone involved has the same big picture. Knows what we’ve got and how we are dealing with it. Also use 3 way communication “repeat back.” That is, when Jack says to Ben, “Put a clamp on the v-line,” Ben says “clamp is on the v-line” instead of “uh-huh” or saying nothing. That way we all know that the request/direction was received as sent, and is being acted upon correctly.

For the after-communication, there should be a de-brief on how we did as a team, did anything unexpected happen, what could we have done better, how will we improve next time, etc.