In life, there are a lot of things that you have to go along with to get along with others. Holding steady in the face of adversity is a good trait of great risk managers and sometimes that means breaking common risk control practices that the industry believes is a great idea. Below are some of the common taboos you should break.
Not completing a written accident investigation
OSHA loves when you have things in writing which highlight all the safety violations that existed prior and during the accident event. So, why hand it to them. Yes, it is true that OSHA requires that you perform an accident investigation, but nowhere in the code does it say that you have to put it in writing. That little nuisance is what allows you as a great risk manager to focus your funds on correcting the hazard and preventing future incidents from happening. Do the investigation, just don’t put it in writing.
Not holding safety committees
Getting anything done by committee is a task best left to congress. Safety committees are no exception. Sure they feel good and they let the CEO, City Manager, Superintendent or Chancellor say with a smile that they are doing everything they can to control accidents. But Cal-OSHA doesn’t require you to have a safety committee. It only requires that if you do, that you have 4 quarterly meetings a year. So, ditch the committee and get your policies, inspections and other safety tasks done.
Not stocking emergency supplies on site
Yes, I have said that you should treat emergency supplies like one of the seven deadly sins, but the reality is this – most events won’t require that you open your emergency supply bin (the August 24th, 2014 Napa, CA quake) and if it does, the event will most likely be so severe that your supplies will be damaged, washed away or otherwise inaccessible. Just think Katrina, Chile, and Japan. So, yes, stockpile, but keep them where you can get to them.
Risk managers who say no all the time give great risk managers a bad name. Learn to say yes to events, activities and other risks that your peers would say no to. Learn to manage risks and minimize the dangers that are involved in the activity. Your school or city will be a more exciting place which will draw people to it. That means more funding and a happy community.
Not implementing new policies
An incident occurs (example: a single truck flying off the end of HWY 2 or a kid falls out of his school chair) and the first thing many young and inexperienced risk managers will do is implement a zero tolerance-no-more-of-that policy. A great risk manager will analyze the data and figure out what can be done to minimize the risk. Knee-jerk reactions increase costs and make jobs more difficult to complete. Try to think in terms of simple solutions – read the Dog Whistle Idea