Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Safety Culture Challenges – Implementing Near Miss in India and Pakistan


A question came through from the ISHN Near Miss Reporting webinar archive (http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=348458&s=1&k=3AD24A9638404CF4549B16426F8AA1C5&partnerref=cat). How can we implement this in 3rd world countries like India & Pakistan?

It is my belief that no matter what country or culture we live in our human DNA is pretty much the same. We all think and all have basic human needs, safety being one of them. The direction of local leadership has a lot to do with what we basic humans can accomplish. At the work cell level, there are always acknowledged leaders no matter what the task. Within reason the local leaders frequently have more leeway than they realize (see blog article titled “Boundaries” -- http://safetycultureworld.blogspot.com/2011/04/boundaries-what-are-your-real.html).

An effective Near Miss initiative will require buy-in from some level of your organization. If this leadership values employee safety enough to help you with such an initiative then you have a chance to implement. Assuming you have such a guiding coalition the next step would be to sell them on the concept. The PowerPoint that was shown on the webinar will hopefully help you to do so (reference archived link above to view presentation). However, the local leadership (you) knows best how to sell the members who must agree to doing anything like this. Here I would suggest a small team that would discuss the who, the why, the how and the when of selling the approach. Usually one person needs others to help develop and present this kind of idea. Personally I would not go into this kind of upper management meeting without both your planning team support as well as a target work group that supports their assisting the implementation of a comprehensive Near Miss system.

You will likely need other back up information on Near Miss. The internet is usually a decent source and of course Caterpillar Safety Services has some very good materials. We could set up a personal webinar if you needed one to present ideas, ask questions and give further detail. Assuming you have successfully sold your decision team, I have an important caveat as you head toward detailed development, launch and implementation: Pick your development team and pilot work cell very carefully! Doing Near Miss in an excellent, value added fashion in the Western culture and location is not an easy task. I would think there would be some very real challenges to a similar initiative in India or Pakistan.

I don’t think it is impossible because we are of common DNA and have common human needs. I have found that global companies bring a value set that decidedly assists in helping other cultures to succeed in implementing foreign culture concepts like this one. This response is likely just the start of a greater dialogue that I hope will assist you in this effort.

The Doc

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