Lynne: So then the take away from all of that is, how do we turn the theory, the idea that we need a great culture, we need a team that’s aligned, we need managers who can be true leaders and not bosses. How do we get the tactical practical? How do we make sure that this work is being done?
David: That’s interesting, right? A lot of people come into companies, consultants, brokers, what have you and they talk a good game. They talk about culture. They talk about safety. They talk about, perhaps, the carrier and what the carrier can provide. I think a very underutilized resource is yourself, yourself as the company, yourself as the employer. What can you do tactically. How much does it cost or how brilliant do you need to be to say…ok, we have claim frequency issues, perhaps, where are they coming from? What part of operations do we see the injuries coming from? What are the employees doing? Where are they injuring themselves? You can do that type of self analysis yourself. It doesn’t require a lot of sophistication. Once you know where the injuries are coming from and how costly they might be, you have to ask yourself what can and should we be doing about? (save time with CompZone instant analytics).
Lynne: One of the best ways to do that is really with a very simple focus checklist.
David: Absolutely. More technical terms are job hazard analysis, job safety analysis are some terms that our industry bandes about but “checklist”, works great.
Lynne: A simple checklist. If you have a manager’s checklist that every week you’re looking at what injuries did we have? what near misses? what do we need to do about that? what kind of safe work methods do we have? what we doing to prevent? It’s a simple checklist. Are we holding a safety meeting? It could be five minutes, but are we holding it? Who’s there? What’s the topic? Are we letting people contribute? I remember Steve Jobs always said everybody has a their own little slice of genius.
Lynne: Right so we’re getting contribution. Our inspections, are we doing our inspections? and then, of course, OSHA wants us to document everything.
David: Also a great way to reinforce to the employees that we value you. We literally, every week, are revisiting how safe an environment we are providing for you… really easy great way to do that. Also really important in that process to solicit feedback from the employee. If you wanted to know how many near misses occurred. A near miss is where, as an example, someone trips over a cord. They don’t actually injure themselves but they had an incident. We want to take a look at that. We want to document that that occurred and perhaps in in this case we want to move the cord to a more safe location or perhaps remove the cord altogether. Great way to have a cultural change where now everyone becomes involved in the safety of the company from the top down, from the person who’s speaking as the CEO or the supervisor, to the employee who makes the suggestion that results in the change.
Lynne: The exciting part is this is something that any company can do. It seems like it eludes a lot of companies, that they feel like they’re a victim, they can’t do it, but but we know that from the culture to how we value safety to the roles of the people involved, we can make this thing work.
David: If you want to have a high performance team, your employees need to feel valued, they need to feel like they’re part of the company at the highest level and that needs to be understood whether you’re talking about the baseline employees or the supervisors or the owners. They too also need to understand that whoever they are interacting with the weather regardless of their job title in the company, that that is a highly valued team member.
Lynne: So how do you stop workers compensation claims? You stop it both culturally and you stop it tactically and practically. Yes, you have to marry the two. You have to look at what is the message. How are we valuing people? What’s the message and is our culture holding employee safety and customer safety with the same high regard?
David: And then on the tactical level, do our actions actually support our espoused values? We say we have this culture. Have we actually implemented that culture? If we say we have a culture of safety, have we invested in that? Have we trained people properly? Do we were actually walk the talk?
Lynne: Are we tracking the things we want to make normal? We always talk about WIN, W. I. N. What Is Normal. Things are normally either because that’s the way they’ve always been or because that’s the way you want them to be.
David: Yes, it’s funny, I was thinking of a different expression, one that’s very common in a number of industries. That is “nothing happens until somebody sells something” but I prefer a different variant to that which is that “nothing happens until somebody implements something”. You can say these things, but have you actually implemented them.
Lynne: Ahh, I got it.