… Previously at Trying To Be Safe Ltd

Our hero Edsel Murphy has realised that rule based safety will not deliver the improvements he wants. The site director, Alec Fergieplus, nearly choked on his biscuit at the suggestion of something as radical as a culture based approach to safety.

Episode three

Edsel and the committed safety rep’, Mike Meanswell, are plotting in Edsel’s Office. Edsel has done some research and has discovered that there’s a phalanx of consultants ready and waiting to assist with implementing a culture based safety programme… but this requires a budget.

“So you’ve been given the go ahead to look into culture based safety then” Mike chuckles

“Yup, sort of.”

“And, don’t tell me, the budget is three and sixpence ha’penny as usual?”

“Rather less than that” responds Edsel glumly.

“OK so why don’t we do something for ourselves based on research from the web?”

“I thought of that but I don’t think we have the talent on site to deliver it and we’ll only get one go at this so we’ve got to get it right.”

Two hand palms reaching outwards begging

The two then indulge in a who can name the least appropriate site culture based safety champion contest. This culminates in Mike suggesting Fergieplus because of his staggering lack of empathy and human warmth. However, Edsel wins by proposing Dino Sawer the least progressive safety rep’ on site because of his near Soviet approach to industrial relations.

“Management never do anything for us” they chorus.

“How about you Mike?”

“No fear” Mike responds “I’m busy enough already”.

Mike pulls them back to the point and sidesteps the question “So we need outside help but we’ve no money”.

“Lord have mercy on us we need a budget from Fergieplus” shrugs Edsel.

“Perhaps we could appeal to his moral centre” splutters Mike and they both proceed to cry with laughter at the prospect. The previous safety manager had been the last person to confront Fergieplus about the morality of safety at TTBS, he ended up on special projects and eventually disappeared from the site. The popular rumour was that he’d been assassinated and the body concealed in the tool room stores where no one would notice it anyway.

“What if we tell him how much poor safety costs him?” suggests Edsel.

Once more unto the breach dear friends for it is the TTBS daily management meeting. On his way to the meeting Edsel is passed by Mercedes Lexus the commercial director and Bill Counter the finance director. This is unusual as these individuals rarely attend the safety section of the meeting as safety has nothing to do with them; it is an operational matter only, obviously.

Edsel delivers a five minute pitch for a budget for the project. He has done his homework and the losses due to injuries and incidents look pretty impressive. What is more he also has a killer punch which could be career threatening but may well get him what he wants at the risk of making an enemy of Mercedes, who, legend has it, has a habit of bearing grudges and getting even. So be it.

After the presentation there is a moment of silence before Fergieplus explodes.

“HOW MUCH… injuries cost how much?”

He turns on Bill Counter.

“Why didn’t I know about this?”

Counter shows visible signs of panic and weakly attempts to defend himself before opting for a craven apology.

Fergieplus turns to Lexus who looks daggers at Edsel.

“So Nostromo Refineries are asking questions about our safety record and the contract could depend on the results. What the hell are you doing about this?”

Lexus smiles what she thinks is disarmingly but she only ends up looking like an unsuccessful extra in the Twilight series.

“We thought we’d massage the figures a bit.”

Massage the figures? Massage the figures!” explains Fergieplus. “What if they decide to audit?”

After some minutes Edsel leaves the room with a remit to prepare a budget proposal for the culture based safety project and having made two powerful enemies but nobody said that the path to spiritual enlightenment would be smooth.

Next month

Edsel looks at culture based safety providers. Who will he choose?

Lexus and Counter lick their wounds and prepare their revenge.

Dino Sawer asks his manager when the pallet blocking the tool room stores is going to be moved.