Both the past and the current culture of living on a farm or a ranch is that of self sufficiency.If your horse is hungry, no one else is there to feed it.You have to fork (feed hay to) your own broncs (broncos or horses).
For many years I earned a living helping organizations escape bankruptcy and become profitable. Obviously improving safety was an important part of the turn around necessities. These sick companies continually looked for someone else to solve the problems they had created. They were trying to live in a world of “The government should do... The union should… the management should…. The engineers should…This never worked.
The “Theys” of the world had to become the “us” that had the problem. We had to learn to fork our own broncs. To paraphrase Michael Topf; “You shall not ‘should on’ anyone.” The expression I use in these circumstances is; “Count on them for absolutely nothing.” In other words, what can we do within our own resource limits to solve the problems we have?
Instead of looking for excuses that keep us from solving problems, we need to list the barriers we face and begin breaking down those barriers with the resources we can control. And from a safety profession perspective I have learned that I can count on the many and various OSHA organizations for ‘absolutely nothing.’
In troubled organizations, once we began the process of taking responsibility for our own actions we could begin solving our own problems. To achieve this kind of culture requires a team approach that gets the organization using all its personnel resources. The Lone Ranger approach does not work. We need a team of dedicated people, with diverse talents, relentlessly tackling the problems that face us. And it takes time to build the team, to learn the skills, to solve the next wave of problems, to operate ‘Autogenously’ (an engineering term for self sustaining fire). Just like on the farm, it takes time to learn how to fork our own broncs and all the other activities that are necessary to survive and excel.
What are the safety broncs you need to start forking yourself and not waiting for others to do so?