Go Another Click

73.6%of all statistics are made upThe Financial Times published an article by  called “Tim Hartford’s guide to statistics in a misleading age” in which he includes the quote  “go another click” which was the advice of Ed Humpherson, a UK Statistical Regulator.   “Go another click” refers to the advice to go a step further when reading a “fact.” Don’t just take what you see as the truth but do a little research to see where the information came from and if it is accurate. The author proposes simple guidelines to keep in mind when we are reading any type of statistic since it is so easy to be mislead by “facts” as they are often presented to us.

“Be open-minded rather than defensive; to ask simple questions about what things mean, where they come from and whether they would matter if they were true. And, above all, to show enough curiosity about the world to want to know the answers to some of these questions — not to win arguments, but because the world is a fascinating place.”

If you want to check out the full article, click here.

 

The fancy new home decor – the fire extinguisher

Too many fire extinguishers end up in the back of a closet because they really aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing things to look at. Well, someone has decided to make them look like home decor with the hope that they will be left out where they will be more accessible.  Sounds like a good idea doesn’t it? There are a lot of designs available at https://www.ahalife.com.

PS – They are a bit pricey but is it worth it?

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“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson

man-couple-people-woman.jpg“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson

I love this quote. We can plan out our work week, set yearly goals and even count the days until retirement but when something big and unexpected happens, all plans can go out the window. Then what do you do? Fall down and think about it for awhile? Continue on as if nothing has happened? Take a break and re-plan?

In the safety world and in our everyday lives, things can change quickly. Mergers can cause seasoned professionals to lose their jobs. Disasters, natural and otherwise, can cause major disruptions in people’s lives. Personal accidents or personal family emergencies such as caring for a seriously sick child or parent can totally derail the best of plans.

So what do you do? More planning? Plan B (or C)? Back-up plans? Contingency plan? Whatever you call them the problem with all of this planning is usually that it is a paper exercise. That is, if the ideas you have for planning even make it out of your head and onto paper! If you do actually write the plan down, are you safe? Say you get suddenly fired from your job and you have three kids in college and an elderly parent living with you. Are those plans on a piece of paper going to help you make the payments you need to make in the coming months?

I’m suggesting that you have to go one step beyond the planning stage to the doing stage. What can you do now that you can immediately go to if your plans are derailed? Financial advisors will tell you to have at least 6 months of income in savings in case of emergencies such as these but I’m not talking about cash.  Do you have something you can do immediately?

I am a firm believer in the importance of a side-hustle. This is an incoming producing activity you do on the side. You can dabble in it while you are employed or work on it more seriously.  The idea though is to have something you can work with as soon as you are punched in the mouth.  What can you do now to make that punch only sting a little and not knock you out? Think about it and watch for upcoming posts for some ideas and some steps you can take to get started.

 

Safety Olympics

the safety olympics 3d cover.pngI loved watching the Olympics when I was a kid. I’d practice my cartwheels on my front lawn hour after hour, pretending that I was performing in front of a panel of judges. I wonder if my early love of the Olympics has led me to continue to love all sports and games to this day. I was thinking about a way to combine the Olympics with safety training and decided to create an eBook with training activities inspired by a few of the events. This eBook is available for free to Subscribers of the SafetyFUNdamentals Newsletter. If you are not a subscriber, visit OlympicsforSafety.com to sign up and get your free copy.

The 2AM Principle (Book Review)

 

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The 2AM Principle: Discover the Science of Adventure
by Jon Levy is probably not the kind of book most SHE Professionals would normally pick up since adventure is often equated with risk and risk is something we as safety professionals try to minimize every day. You are probably wondering what someone who promotes adventure, sometimes a bit irresponsibly, could possibly teach safety professionals. In this book, the author explains his formula for an EPIC adventure. While reading it, I thought that some of his ideas could be applied to safety training. While not a scientific book, much of the advice he offers, and the formula for his EPIC adventure, is backed up with research studies which he provides as footnotes so the reader can dig deeper into the theory behind his ideas.

While I think the book overall was written for an audience just like the author, that is 30-something males, there are many interesting points that can be applied to any adventure you want to take – from a family vacation to a night out with professional colleagues at a conference. Being a safety professional, mother of three teens and the daughter of a retired police officer, some of the things he talks about like different ways to sneak into an event, make me cringe. He is clear to point out that the ability to accept the consequences of whatever risky behavior you choose to undertake is key and an acceptable level of risk is going to be different for everyone. This applies to everything from bungee jumping to driving at excessive speeds or eating from food carts in countries with hygiene practices not like your own.

 

The author’s EPIC Model of adventure includes: E for Establish (adventure), P for Push (boundaries), I for Increase (challenge) and C is for Continue (activity). To apply the EPIC model to safety training and therefore turn training activities into adventures, safety training teams first need to be put in place and teams need to understand the mission of the activity and any constraints. The activity should also push boundaries so that the trainees are slightly out of their comfort zone. You can do this by asking individuals who don’t normally work together to work in teams. The activity should serve to increase their interest by being challenging, surprising, and amusing.  Having an element of fun in training activities is always going to help you to keep the attention of trainees. The author stresses that with these techniques, you need to ensure clarity, establish a time limit and make sure the proposed activity meets the group’s threshold of skill – the same things that are standard when integrating an interactive activity into a safety training class. Continue the success of the adventure, or in our case the success of the training activity, by having an acceptable level of risk and unpredictability in whatever you propose. and always end the activity on a good note.  Finally, end the adventure or activity on a good note.

 

Even where there seems to be no relevance or connection between a set of ideas or practices, we can often learn something by studying areas seemingly unconnected to safety. The 2AM Principle is an interesting book for safety professionals because it can not only help to add more adventure to your life, but it also provides some interesting ideas for improving safety training even though I’m sure that was probably the furthest thing from the author’s mind when he wrote it.

I’ll never look at trash removal crews the same

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“With less experienced helpers, Caban taught them what they needed to know. “Place your back, your legs, and your arms like if you’re swinging a golf club,” he explained. Swinging a bag like a baseball bat will risk spraying garbage juice in your partner’s eyes or mouth. Hold the bag away from your body to avoid gashes from glass. For lighter bags, use a down-and-up-and-over torso twist-swing. For heavier ones, over 70 or 80 pounds, do a full 360-degree spin-and-drag move, not unlike an Olympic hammer throw, using the weight of the bag to gain momentum.”

The above paragraph is just one paragraph from a really disturbing article that appeared in ProPublica titled ” Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection” by Kiera Feldman.  As a safety professional, I’m sure you will be as disturbed by the working conditions of these nighttime, private garbage collectors. I will never look at them the same way again. To read the article, click here.