There are dozens (hundreds?) of acronyms in the practice of worker’s safety and health: OSHA, MSHA, NFPA, NIOSH, CSP, CIH, ANSI, CFIOSH, EurOSHM, REM, to name a few… We’ve all become well acquainted with the acronym ROI: return on investment. Are we spending money – investing in people, equipment and processes – to make money, or are we spending money with little to show for it?
Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of talk about ROS: return on safety. ROS is a metric that applies to every business, though it carries particular significance in manufacturing, oil and gas, transportation, chemical, construction and recycling. In these industries, humans interact closely with heavy machinery and hazardous substances. Focusing too intently on ROI – without the balance of ROS – can impact not only employee safety but ultimately, organizational success.
The theme of the 2015 Safety Leadership Conference, scheduled for October 26-28 in Greenville, S.C., is ROS – The Return on Safety.
We often hear talk of excellence in business and ROI, but what about excellence in safety? Only when executive leaders are aligned with incorporating safety thinking into business objectives and decisions will we achieve true safety excellence.
The best safety cultures strategically are led by business leaders and integrated into the business. Business and safety strategies are developed to work together toward the same goals, rather than compete. Safety and productivity must become allies, and safety only can be perceived as a core value within a corporate culture when the safety strategy supports and aligns with the business strategy and goals.
What we’ve been hearing from experts is that in order for workplaces to achieve world-class safety, they must look beyond concepts like “zero injuries” and look toward creating a culture that aligns business and safety. A lack of injuries does not translate to a world-class safety culture.
That’s why the expert panelists we’ve lined up for the four tracks of the 2015 Safety Leadership Conference – Safety and Risk Management, Construction, Compliance and Safety Technology – will examine concepts like leading indicators, strategic integration of safety into the business model, employee and management engagement, continuous improvement and more.
Leading the Way and Starting the Day With Top Keynote Speakers
Our two keynote addresses, “Blood Lessons: Learning from Tragedies” and “Sole Survivor: Moments of Impact,” examine tragic work-related incidents and the lessons learned – and ignored – from those tragedies.
Blood Lessons: Learning from Tragedies – Tuesday, Oct. 27 – Jim Malewitz, a reporter with the Texas Tribune, was part of a team of journalists who conducted a deep dive into safety in the oil and gas industry in the 10 years following the Texas City disaster. Preventable workplace disasters, such as the explosion that killed 15 refinery workers in Texas City, provide industrial companies and their competitor’s prime opportunities to redouble their safety efforts. While promises to improve safety often follow such tragedies, they are all too seldom carried out or sustained for long once the images of grief fade from the news cycle.
In this session, Malewitz will illustrate how it's up to company leaders, regulators, lawmakers – and the media who scrutinize them – to provide reminders of the past and to honor victims by etching those promises in policy and practice.
Attendees will learn from Malewitz why bolstering the safety culture at refineries and at other inherently dangerous workplaces can prove so difficult. Citing his reporting on refinery safety 10 years after BP's Texas City explosion and coverage of a 2014 chemical leak that killed four DuPont workers in La Porte, Texas, Malewitz will show that some companies – even those that tout a commitment to safety – often fail to learn from their mistakes, while regulators and journalists struggle to hold them accountable. Malewitz will discuss ideas for more dialogue between industry members, regulators and journalists, and ask for input from the audience.
Sole Survivor: Moments of Impact – Wednesday Oct. 28 – Tom Wilson is the sole survivor of a 2008 plane crash that killed seven of his co-workers and left him badly burned and fighting for his life. The story of the crash and his survival was chronicled in his 2015 book, “Moments of Impact.” Tom now spends a portion of his time as the “Speaker in Residence” at the International Safety Institute.
Tom has taken this experience and developed a presentation that educates his audience about the importance on risk tolerance, behavioral influences and day-to-date decision making in the workplace to prevent injury.
As the sole survivor of the crash, Tom will share the factors that led up to the crash, his struggle to survive and recover, dealing with survivor’s guilt, the role of spirituality in his journey and how he has tried to make meaning of the senseless loss of life of his fellow passengers, co-workers and friends.
Attendees will learn from Tom the 10 factors that contribute to an individual’s personal level of risk tolerance, and the tipping point that divides acceptance or rejection of risk, based on a combined weighting of the factors. He will also help attendees to understand the difference between risk identification and risk tolerance. As a part of his mission to make the world a safer place, Tom will arm attendees with insights on how to create “moments of impact” in the workplace on a daily basis that will alter the trajectory of your company’s safety culture.