Education and culture are central to compliance with lifesaving policies and PPE. “I want to make believers and not behavers,” William Watson, Vice President of Safety at Miller Electric and Chairman of the NECA Large Contractor Safety Group, said during the round table discussion in the Arc Week Season 4 finale.
William’s goal is to create a culture where people follow the safety program because they trust in it, rather than only doing the right thing when someone is looking.
All three arc flash survivors gathered with him at the table agreed this plays a critical role in achieving true compliance. Watch the discussion:
William’s message about compliance resonates with all three survivors.
Brandon Schroeder and Jason Brozen nodded knowingly. “There’s a long way from here [pointing to his head] and here [pointing to his heart],” Jason said. You can share knowledge with someone and have it make sense rationally, but only when it resounds from an emotional standpoint will they live by it.
Brandon Smith echoed this sentiment. “When you don’t explain things, it creates lack of morale,” he said – causing distrust and leading workers to push back on the messenger rather than abiding by the heart of the message. This creates a dangerous attitude where people feel more inclined to do things their own way rather than comply with safety policy and adopt the mindset critical to compliance.
This concept was on full display when group joined Tyndale on a shark dive; a hazard was present but the group was able to stay calm and safe in the face of danger because they:
- Had received clear instruction
- Assessed the hazard and planned ahead
- Believed in the risks
- Wore the right safety gear
The group complied with the training and PPE because the dive hazard “is something we truly believed in,” William said. Ironically, across arcs, shock, and sharks, incidents are often referred to as “getting bit.” “Why are we less reluctant to get ‘bit’ by electricity than we are by a shark?” William mused.
Every safety policy has been written because blood has been shed. There have been far too many victims and we’ve proven that, with the right precautions and mindset, you can do the work safely.
Let Tyndale help bridge the gap between behaving and believing; get started by exploring our educational and technical resources, watching our arc flash demonstrations, and hearing directly from survivors.
Do you have a flash fire – rather than an arc flash – hazard?
The hazards may differ, but the valuable lessons in this series are relevant to workers in oil and gas and other industries that use PPE to protect workers from thermal hazards. Don’t miss it!