Safety Humor Myths and Urban Legends

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					Safety Humor, Myths and
        Legends




 Tom Wazelle, Jr., Ed.D., CSP
                                1
You have to have a sense of
  humor to do this job!




     You.
                              2
                Myths

• What is a myth?
• A myth is a commonly held belief
  with little or no basis in actual fact.




                                        3
                 Legends
• What is a legend?

• A story that may or may not be based in
  fact, that has been passed around as truth,
  and has now become a part of our collective
  folklore.


                                            4
  Myth 1: Safety is a program or
            process.
• A process is the actions taken to produce goods or
  services.
• A program is a group of measures taken to
  enhance a process.
• Safety is neither a program nor a process.
• Safety is a level of risk acceptable to management.
• The higher priority safety has, the lower the
  acceptable risk.

                                                    5
 Myth 2: Safety Programs do not
  work, and are not worth the
            money.
• Programs designed to achieve specific
  results, such as lock-out/tag-out, work very
  well.
• The effectiveness of the program is directly
  dependent upon how highly safety is valued
  by upper management.
• Every dollar invested in safety returns $3-5
  in direct and indirect savings (ASSE, 2004).
                                             6
 Overhead at a Workers’ Comp.
         Conference

“We can’t afford a safety program, our
 workers’ comp costs are too high!”

(Can anyone say, “Heeeeeers your sign!)


                                          7
Myth 3: Younger, Inexperienced
Workers are the Most Likely to
         be Injured.
• In 2010, 76% of fatal accidents involved
  workers 35 years of age or older (BLS, 2012).
• Between 2003 and 2010, workers age 55
  and older were killed at a rate double that of
  workers aged 18-34.


                                                   8
 Myth 4: It is possible to achieve
       “Zero Accidents.”
• All processes involve a degree of risk,
  therefore accidents will occur.
• Risk means probability. Given enough
  events, an accident will occur.
• “Safety is no accident” is not a great slogan.



                                               9
10
 Safety Myth 5: Accidents Drive
    Costs (direct and indirect)
• Claims, not accidents, drive costs.
• Focus on severity, not frequency.
• Investigate all incidents (accidents and
  near misses)



                                         11
  Myth 6: No job is so important
  that we can’t take the time to
        perform it safely.
• Level of acceptable corporate and personal
  risk is in inverse proportion to the decrease
  in time from that normally associated with a
  task.
• Consequences of not producing/performing
  sometimes appear greater than those of
  maintaining a lower level of risk.
                                              12
 Car drivers summarize accident
  details on insurance forms:
• I was on my way to the doctor with rear end
  trouble when my universal joint gave way, causing
  me to have an accident.
• The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a
  number of times before I hit him.
• I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at
  my mother-in-law, and headed over the
  embankment.
• The pedestrian had no idea which way to run, so I
  ran over him.
• In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone
  pole.                                                13
 Myth 7: Our Workers are our
Greatest Assets, Therefore Safety
     is Our Highest Priority

• I wish! Production of goods and
  services to make a profit is the
  highest priority.
• As profits decrease, the level of
  acceptable corporate risk increases.
                                     14
Myth 8: Back belts prevent back
           injuries.

• No, they don’t (NIOSH, 2004).




                                  15
  Myth 9: Incentives (especially
  money) tied to accident rates
   decrease the frequency of
            accidents.
• No, they don’t, but they do discourage
  reporting.

• Incentives tied to safe work practices work
  better at encouraging safe behavior.

                                                16
Myth 10: Senseless accidents are
 caused by stupid employees.
• Not usually. Accidents which appear senseless are
  usually caused by fatigue or inattentiveness related
  to:
• Excessive overtime
• Physically exhausting labor
• Personal problems
• Drug or alcohol use
• Inadequate training
• Inadequate supervision                             17
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 Myth 11: All employees can be
 trained and motivated to work
             safely.
• Levels of personal acceptable risk varies
  from individual to individual.

• Some people are natural risk-takers (thrive
  on thrill).


                                                24
25
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   Myth 12: Safety is Common
             Sense
• Common sense is an uncommon
  virtue!

• People don’t always act in their own
  best interest.


                                         27
28
29
30
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  Myth 13: Safety training is the
  answer to accident prevention.
• Training is NOT always the appropriate
  solution.

• Safety training separate from work process
  training is ineffective.

• Training should focus on safe work
  practices and safe processes.
                                               33
 Myth 14: We are in compliance
 with OSHA standards, therefore
  we should have no accidents.
• Wrong, safety-breath!
• OSHA standards are the bare MINIMUM
  requirements for physical safety.
• Applying OSHA requirements without
  addressing safe work processes, behavioral
  changes and throwing in a good dose of
  COMMON SENSE will NOT yield the
  desired results.
                                               34
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  Top 10 list of how you can tell
  that your OSHA inspection is
           going badly.
• 10. OSHA sets up temporary housing in
  your parking lot.
• 9. The Compliance Officer mutters, “This
  is unbelievable” each time he or she enters a
  different department.
• 8. OSHA calls in a professional film crew
  to document conditions in your plant. A
  reporter from “60 Minutes” tags along.
                                              36
• 7. The Compliance Officer insists on
  wearing a moon suit with an SCBA, while
  your employees work in jeans and tennis
  shoes.

                                        You




                                            37
• 6. The congressman you called for help
  won’t return your call, but does return your
  campaign contribution.
• 5. One of your employees, in response to
  the CSHO’s question, tells the compliance
  officer that an “egress” is a large white bird.
• 4. The Compliance Officer asks you a
  specific question about a report in your
  files, but you haven’t turned over any files.
• 3. The Compliance Officer knows each of
  your employees by their first names.
                                                38
• 2. The Compliance Officer is a former
  employee you fired.



• 1. The Compliance Officer begins
  the Closing Conference by saying,
  “You have the right to remain
  silent.”

                                          39
Myth 15: The safety director has
 the most influence over safety
            results.
• In order of scope of influence, these people
  have the greatest effect on the overall safety
  effort:
                 1. Upper management.
                 2. First-line supervisors.

                 3.   Individual workers.
                 4.   Safety Director
                                               40
             NOTICE
  OSHA has determined that the maximum safe
load capacity of my butt is two (2) people unless
       I install hand rails or safety straps.
   As you are 6th in line to ride my butt today,
    please take a number and wait your turn.

                                            41
       Safety Professionals get
                 no
           R-E-S-P-E-C-T
• Q. When does a person decide to become a safety
  guy?
• A. When he realizes he doesn’t have the charisma
  to be an undertaker.
• Q. What do safety guys use for birth control?
• A. Their personalities.

                                                 42
• Q. How can you tell an extroverted safety
  guy?
• A. When he talks to you, he looks at your
  shoes instead of his own.
• Q. Why did the safety guys cross the road?
• A. Because they looked in the file and
  that’s what they did last year.
• Q. How do you drive a safety guy
  completely insane?
• A. Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him,
  and fold up a road map the wrong way.

                                              43
 You Might Be A Safety Guy If:
• You take a cruise so you can go on a
  personal tour of the engine room.
• In college you thought spring break was
  metal fatigue.
• At an air show, you know how fast the
  skydivers are falling.
• You can type 70 words per minute and can’t
  read your own handwriting.
                                           44
• You sit backwards on the Disneyland rides
  to see how they do the special effects.
• You have saved every power cord from all
  your broken appliances.
• You have more friends on the internet than
  in real life.
• You know what http:// stands for.
• Your spouse doesn’t have the foggiest idea
  what you do at work.


                                               45
Things you wish you could say at
            work!
• Ahhh…I see the Stupid Fairy has visited us
  again…
• How about never? Is never good for you?
• I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being
  smarter.
• I don’t work here. I’m a consultant.
• What am I, flypaper for freaks?
                                           46
• Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties
  are largely ceremonial.
• And your crybaby whiny-butt opinion
  would be?
• This isn’t an office. It’s Hell with
  fluorescent lighting.
• Errors have been made-others will be
  blamed.
• Can I trade this job for what’s behind door
  number 1?
                                                47
• Too many freaks, not enough circuses!
• If I throw a stick, will you leave?
• Thank you. We’re all refreshed and
  challenged by your unique point of view.
• It sounds like English, but I can’t
  understand a word you’re saying.
• I only come here to spread hate and
  discontent.



                                             48
 And my all-time personal
      favorite-----


• Ahhh! Chaos, disorder and
         despair!
   My work here is done!

                              49
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posted:6/9/2012
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