I recently connected with my 3rd-grade teacher on FaceBook. It was a welcome dive back into the original reason most of us got into social media in the first place. Now even the most judicious of us can’t help but continue down the rabbit hole of lost personality our online obsessions perpetuate. The constant evolution of tech these days is both scary and inspiring.
For me, that connection conjured up two memories. The first was birds. My 3rd grade teacher loved birds. So… we learned about birds. A lot about birds.
Enough about that. Listen to the latest safety news if you’re more interested in tech than birds:
The second memory was… wait for it… CURSIVE.
The fact that I’m not even sure I can write in cursive anymore is a good indication of how much technology has changed life. Most of what I write now is on a screen. If I ever even pull out a piece of paper it ends up getting a few obscure words written in incomplete sentences that I won’t be able to decipher by the next time I see it. Or a snake doodle… there’s always room for one of those.
So, while most of the world ponders the ways our existence has changed because of our present future, I can’t help but wonder if we haven’t changed enough. At lease in some ways.
Stick with me here.
Every organization (and individual person for that matter) I’ve ever worked with does things to mitigate risk. Some do it extremely well, while others just check items off of lists. Some integrate risk management thorough all business functions while others segregate and silo them. But no matter the level of sophistication, they’re all after the same thing: REWARD.
That being the case, why is it that so often “SAFETY” risk becomes something we investigate AFTER an incident occurs. It’s the stick we use to beat workers with when they “fail to identify” a hazard. If you don’t think that’s true, just consider how often “COMPLACENCY” is identified as the root cause of an accident.
So this time I’ll ask more directly...
What if technology hasn’t changed us enough?
What if all the forms, checklists, apps, and databases we use to collect data are no more useful than my 3rd grade cursive?
Does your inspection app tell you anything more than what’s missing?
Does your incident report form help you figure out what people are nervous about?
Does your process prompt real-time adjustment of the work plan?
Those thoughts are just the tip of the iceberg. But they should be enough to incite Titanic-level reaction. Especially when you consider how much a company might pay for one of the digital pieces of paper described above. Its something worth having a conversation about.
And what if someone figured out how to turn that conversation into the answers to all of my questions above?
Turns out someone has…
Having been one of the lucky few Americans to see this app makes me pause before I try to write much about it. Because any words I use will be at risk (see what I did there?) of understating how incredible this platform is.
Instead of doing that, you can listen in for yourself: