The Safety Management Show
The Safety Management Show

Episode 5 · 2 months ago

Best Practices That May Just Save Someone’s Life

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Best practices get a bad rap.

It seems like a lot of the conversations today are centered around “why you should move beyond best practices,” or “why best practices aren’t enough.”

And there is for sure some truth to those statements. But best practices are there for a reason, and a lot of times companies either brush them aside, or are so determined to move beyond best practices that they end up getting themselves in trouble.

On this episode of The Safety Management Show, James Desmond, the Safety Director at Blu Site Solutions, talks all about:

  • Why a college degree isn’t always necessary for a career in safety
  • Why you should treat your safety department as an essential part of your organization.
  • How safety departments can go from being reactive to proactive
  • Why adherence to best practices may just save someone’s life

Hear more stories from safety professionals by subscribing in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

You're listening to the safetymanagement show where safety professionals share engaging storiesabout their time in the trenches and the hard earned lessons they've learnedalong the way. Let's dig in thank you for joining a safety management showi'm your host. Today. My name is mike dean, and today we have a very special guestjoined in us. He is a proud father and grandfather been married for twentyfour years. I've been in a in a truck in industry well over twenty years, andhe's worked his way up in the safety field and now serves as a safetydirector had blue site solutions. Jim desman everybody, hey june, worn tothank you for joining us this morning. How are you today so far? Good morning,sir? It's truly a pleasure to be asked to do this. I certainly appreciate theopportunity to share some of that knowledge is but a lot of people whohelped me along the way, a lot of real, real, talented mentors, real experience,people- and i wouldn't be where i am today- without them- nice, nice, sotell us about. You- know how you got started in the safety field. Give us alittle background on coming up in the industry sure so i've been over theroad driver. I actually started driving at nineteen years old, which is prettymuch unheard of today with insurance and things like that, of course,couldn't go over the road until i was twenty one, that's what i really wantedto do. If i ran local, i ran sand and gravel prior to that, and thenliterally days after my twenty first birthday i was, i was headed off on theroad, so i'm second generation, my dad was a long hall driver. So i knew someof the things that came along with that both positives and negatives. But atthat point in my life i didn't see myself as a nine o five type of personyeah the whole getting up go to work. Commute thing didn't really wasn'tattractive to me, and you know it was just a great way to see the country.It's just an invaluable education. You know we tend to put ourselves in. Youknow there are people who live in this world in the inner cities and the lakethat their world is about a six block, radio, shiko, so yeah. I knew that youknow i wanted to get out there and see the country and yeah. I was justenamored with it from the time i was a child, but i say that to say that youknow you had mentioned that i'm a father now grandfather. You know thattype of life sometimes doesn't we most of the time. I would say that was anlend itself to family life, and i've lived both sides of that. So when mydaughter started getting a little was born, she started standing on her ownand she started walking and talking- and i said man i'm going to miss somuch of her life and i've like i said, i've lived that from the other side, soi knew it was time to start setting my states towards home. So i then took ajob with an l. Tl company pit ohio express name, dropped a little bitthey're very safety, conscious company, great leader in the field. You know ata president's trophy winners and the list just goes on and on and and ireally saw the safety people there- i saw that you know they were great totalk to. They were great role models. They saw my talents relatively earlyand asked me if i would be a driver trainer m, so i got a lot of valuableentry level experience there and they started putting those seeds and builtthat foundation to get us to where we are. Today, i moved to i moved on to adifferent carrier and what that happened is they they had to move themy local facility. We made the commute very excessive at that point, so it wastime to move on to find something a little bit closer to the home. So imoved to a different carrier and they had actin review committee hearingsthat was available to drivers and the branch manager knew about my pastexperience as a driver trainer my interest in safety and just thought iwould be excellent asset to serve on those committees. So with that said, iserved on them very frequently and regularly and the regional safetymanager, so he grabbed me off to the...

...side after one of the meetings one timean a a while. You ask different questions than all the other divers. Hesays what gives, and i told him about you know my past experiences and mydesire to move into the safety realm at some point and he said well, i have anopportunity for you. He was stepping up to the director level position and hewas looking to replace himself as the regional safety manager. If they put methrough the process, we got my resume together, got it in front of the vicepresident n, a safety and the rest of his history. That was in two thousandand nine, and here we are two thousand and twenty one nice nice, and i see ita lot where you know you know a lot of safety professionals just kind of getthrown into the position, and you know he kind of you know, learning as you goalong so and now safety director at blue side solutions, tell us a littlebit about blue side and what you're doing over there, and you know how bigthe company is sure, so blue sight solution into a portable sanitationprovider. Porte bodies, hand sanitizing stations. We do special events counting fairsconcerts, all those things we do have portable restroom trailers that aremuch nicer facilities just than the regular plastic port of body. When youthink of that. So we do have a fleet of commercial vehicles under thedefinition of f mc sa hump trucks with tank bodies mounted on them. When we'repulling our trailers, we become a commercial motor vehicle by virtue ofweight and size, so they saw the need there. They'd always had osha people inplace, but we're desperately lacking on the dot side and our ceo. He comes from the truckingworld as well and recognized the need right away so through some channelsthrough some common people that we know we were put in touch and now i'm withthem, so pretty much, building a dot compliance group, dot complianceprogram so to speak, pretty much from scratch. Like said, the emphasis wasall osha, so you know the ocean foundation is laid. Of course, i'mtrying to take that to the next level as well, but the emphasis right now ison dot and you know getting people on the same page with that dynamic. Youknow people that have been there ten fifteen years. Some of this stuff isnew to them because they never just was never thought of, or you know broughtto their attention so, but a very rewarding experience, definitely frommy side got me out of traditional trucking per se and some of thechallenges with that and and broaden my horizons a little bit now, i'm dealingwith a little bit different type of a person. These aren't necessarily peoplethat want to be career truck drivers per se. You know we just use thecommercial vehicles to do perform the service that we perform. I guess is thebest way to say that yeah nice and for my listeners that may not know some ofthe main differences between dot and osha. Can you speak to that and maybeexplain that a little bit for some of my listeners that don't know sure so, oan all? When we read the federal regulations, you know we think of thecfs the coda federal regulations. So you know you have the wholetransportation side and you have the oceasion, it's think of it as acontinual like a card catalogue. Almost if you will, where you know it coversalmost everything conceivable. Then you take the transportation regulations andyou split those into aviation and a marine and all those different things.But having said all that you know certainly oseas dealing with employeeinjuries, employee safety, you know person shows up to work with tenfigures and toes there's a expectation that the person goes home with tenfingers and toes that operate. The way they did when they showed up so a lotof i mean. Certainly it's viewed in different ways. There is you know,specific regulations that you, you know you need to dig into. They do work handin hand. Of course i mean, for example,...

...a entry level driver osea has asked thedepartment of transportation specifically federo carrier safetyadministration, which is a branch of osha they've, asked them to help themwith compliance on, say, whistle, blower protection. So when you have anentry level driver who hasn't gotten that training through their drivingschool, we need to make sure entry level dyer being that that has lessthan a year of verifiable experience. We need to make sure that whistle.Blower protection is one of the things that they are trained on and we need todocument that so that's kind of an overlap between the two. But when youget into specific dot regulations, there's things like driverqualifications and road testing and all these different things that youwouldn't necessarily do on the ocean side and then, of course, on the oceanside. We have you know: four cliff training fall arrest protection ifthat's applicable warehousing. All of those types of things has com, you nameit. We could go into a million different things and pretty much use upall our time. Talking about. Yes, we can, but that's that's pretty much. Yesin a nutshell, how i would probably properly describe that? Okay, how manydrivers are you directly over or responsible for right now? I think thecurrent count is ninety. Five i'd have to look exactly because you certainlythere's turn over on the lake, but it's ninety five plus or minus one or twohere and there, but i didn't get a didn't, get a count right before wewent to air today to some rough yeah recent hires in the lake, but it's inand around that area. Okay, nice! Now in the safety field, what's a commonhell belief that you passionately disagree with well, what i've seen is alot of the job postings in the lake that i've seen. Everybody wants adegree. Everybody feels that you have to have a degree to be an effectivesafety leader and, in my brief autobiography, i guess that we talkedabout in the beginning. You didn't hear anything about college in there right,so i feel that i'm an effective safety leader i feel, like i found a differentway to do it. I came up practical experience, which is a great teacher.You know if i'm sitting in a driver's room talking to a bunch of drivers, youknow i can relate it, makes me very relatable. I call it street cred rightyeah. So if i'm sitting there, you know, i can talk to a driver about taking aneighty thousand pound load over doners past. You know where somebody went tocollege and you know i'm not discounting college in any way, shapeor form for those that had the discipline, the desire and wanted to goto college. But what i'm saying is not the only way yeah and you know in thosetypes of situations where somebody might have skip that step and wentright into a supervisory role like a safety coordinator or even a safetymanager. You know straight out of college, they would have missed thatexperience. So you know when you're doing a crash investigation. You don'treally know the perspective that twenty years of experience actually drivingthe vehicle can give you so there's there's pluses a moneses to both sidesof it, but again guying large. I see that as a pre screen tool and i thinksome companies are really disenfranchising themselves. There'ssome really really good people out there that they're not paying attentionto just using the degree as a pre screen tool. Yeah absolutely- and iagree with you- i do think it brings a certain level of respect from yourdrivers. Knowing that you know you are a truck driver yourself, so it goes along way and reland and safety masters to your drivers, because i know youknow from experience that they will. You know, have more respect for youbeing that you were in that seat, so yeah definitely goes a long way. Nowwhen it comes to safety, is there something that you think everybodyshould stop doing sure? Well, there's probably quite a few things we could goon with pretty good list there as well, but one of the things that i woulddefinitely say is a lot of i mean, of course i want to quantify as it dependson your company size and if you have that luxury and the demand for it, buta lot of a lot of times, safety is viewed. As you know, it's not a profitcenter. It's a it's a liability. So to...

...speak. It's a drain on resources. Iguess for a better way to say it a lot of companies for that reason, feel thatjust manage and safety isn't enough. They don't prioritize it in the sameway that they would like their operations department, their financedepartment per se. So a lot of times they had accessorial task to safety.Good example would be claims management, fuel taxes, those types of things, justthe word tax right. What are we hear in there? We think finance departmentright off the bat right yeah so with that said, but you know fuel taxes andand having the proper, if the permitting, let's say on the trucks orthe ir p tags in the lake. You know safety certainly says: yeah is part ofa pre rip inspection. That's a regulatory compliance point right, sowe tend to own that we tend to get that. I think a lot of with that's a productof too is just that back in the older days when some of these companies werestructured, safety wasn't as complex of an animal as it is now, so it kind ofwas a little more of yeah kind of safety's waiting around waiting for thephone to ring for that crash or that incident or something to be reactive to,as opposed to so many different, proactive components. Now that that youneed to have for a robot safety program. So you know safety is a money savingtool. It is not a prophet center. An effective safety program certainlyreduces fines on the regulatory side, insurance premiums. I mean insurancepremiums right now, they're, just sky high and there's there's valid reasonsfor that. You know we could get into on the transportation side. It might be aterm that's new to some people on the industrial hygiene side, but we referto them as nuclear verdicts. So if you do a quick google search right now, thehighest one that i'm aware of is just type in four hundred and eleven milliondollars truck crash florida and you'll see that there is a two truck company.He was a two truck operator and there was recently a verdict of four hundredand eleven million dollars awarded against that carrier for crass related.You know so tell me that safety doesn't have value right. So if you know that's,obviously a two truck company, so you know the owner pretty much wears allthe hats yeah, but i say that you know think of some of your larger carriers,a thousand five sand trucks if they can award a four hundred and eleven milliondollar verdict to a small two truck guy. You know. Certainly, large companieshave seen these verdicts, but they haven't seen them to that level. Yetyeah the sky is the limit. When you think about you, know the resources atsome of these carriers have so i say you can't put a price on safety right.Tell me the cost through the crash that never happened. How do we quantify that?So if things that we put in place prevented that crash or prevented thatinjury? Well, how do we quantify that number right so again to me, you know oit's a money, saving tool where we should be a pro activest, not areactive entity, nice and i agreed with that whole heartily. I have a lot ofsmaller business owners that i tell them safety. You know it's going to bea business expense. You know you got to invest in a safety program, so you know,i think, with a lot of business owners that an area where they could kind ofcut costs and say you know, like you, you mentioned the owner with tendifferent hats. You know a lot of sons: you're, not he's not going to want topay for a safety program, but when you see the flip side, like you mentioned atwo owner company, you know four hundred thousand four million fourhundred million you know like so these numbers are so it definitely speaks tothat in safety. You know it's a business expense. You got to invest ina safety program because it's going to save you on the on on the back endright and on that front, if you, if you are a smaller carrier, two trucks, fivetrucks you should still plug in, at least with your state truckingassociation, you know get plugged into these things start seeing the thingsthat are out there and or find good third party consulting good. You knowsafety firms that can lend you expertise. You know for a very smallcost, relatively speaking, yeah,...

...absolutely any tips on finding a goodthird party or what's a tip for that, and how do how you know where to wereto look and what's a good place? Well, the the first place i would start wouldbe to contact your state state, trucking association, if you're intracking an industrial hygiene, you know any of the safety organizationsthat are out there in national safety council. All of those and get somerefers talk to your colleagues who are you guys using who you know you guysaren't large enough to have a safety director at ten trucks? Probably so whoare you using? You know what company is advising you on those things, becauseeven something as simple as your driver, qualification files, i mean get into acraft situation and have something missing in a driver qualification file.Now, when you get to litigation the plaintive attorney, i don't want to godown that whole road because that's a whole other discussion for all nother,podcast and other a at. They call him reptile theory. So what they do is theytry to paint the carrier as this carnivorous monster, that's just out todevour everything in their path. So, if you have, you know, items missing inyour compliance program, you know you didn't do that road test. You didn't dothat. We talked about the whistle blow or protection stuff in your entry leveldriver training, all these types of things, you're, not monitoring ours, aservice. What the platos attorney is going to do. A lot of those plaintiffsattorneys have experts, you know that have been former safety directors orhad been in the trade for years, and they say they supenally the files andthey say: okay go through these tell me everything that i can exploit in courtand the next thing you know with the way they're starting to sway the jury as they'll say, and thisis a non compliant carrier. You know they don't care about the rules in theregulations and it's just off to the races from there they missionaccomplished. They paint you as someone who doesn't care about public safety.They use phrases like you're, not being a good citizen of the safety communityand it just snowballs and spirals from there yeah yeah. Now, let me ask itcoming up in the safety field. Is there something that everyone is trying to dothat you've discovered a better method for yeah? I'm thinking more in termsnow at the director level, not necessarily coming up through the ranks-i guess, but you know, if you're in the supervisory level, when you need tostart making those decisions on hire and staff, i think you know one of thethings that people miss is. You know we did talk about. The value of experiencebut certainly experienced with transferable skills is just as valuable.For example, you know we see a lot of people that have bounced. You know weit's no secret with the driver turn over. You know it's really not evenuncommon anymore, to see a guy who goes to about four different carriers a year.At this point you know every three months, they're driving for a differentcompany, so you know in the same way the some of the safety staff, thepeople that are doing the driver qualifications, people that aremonitoring ours of service. You know, yeah, we we tak, they tend to getrecycle from company to company. You know and there's probably a reason forthat. Maybe you know that's just what they've always done and it's kind ofstale. Maybe they haven't been given opportunities to advance, so you knowyou got to get to know the people that you have when you walk in the door. Yougot to continue to develop those people you got to you know one of the firstconversations i have is you know what a? What do you think are your strengths?Are you happy doing what you're doing or is there something? Maybe that ishould be looking towards the future? Maybe if i can get you some additionaltraining, it get you plugged in with the right resources you know, do youwant to advance, or you just happy where you're at i've been veryeffective with hiring character and then teaching the skills? I was in asituation where i didn't have the luxury. I didn't have the budget tohire experience safety professionals, so i found people with transparaleskills like we just were mentioning. I...

...found the guy who was just flat outtired of accounting. He had an accounting and bookkeeping backgroundand i said perfect, there's my analyst there's my citations and violations guyand these people are hungry to learn they're looking in different avenuesbecause for a reason, they're look said, they're, tired of doing what they weredoing day in and day out, but we can use those skills and we can open up awhole new world to them, and i i used to love nothing more than to see insomebody that came from a different environment, then they're a littleoverwhelmed at first. You know a lot of this is new and you know you try not tolake too much at their door step on day one, but i used to love to watch thelay bulbs go off in their head when they get it. You know when it finallyall clicks and i find out to be so rewarding you know, if we're safetypeople, we really you know, what we want to do is make an investment inpeople. We want to give people the knowledge to how to work safely fromday to day, but how about investing their own people, our own staff, youknow developing them, building them up and those are going to be loyal people.You know you just heard about how i talked about my mentors right, you're,never going to forget those people, you never going to forget those people whomade a real difference in your life. You know, i know of one already thatmatter of fact to that i've mentored that are now leading their own safetygroups. You know i'm very proud of that, nice, nice and again that kind of goesback to one of the leafs. You know that you disagree with. As far as not youknow, education, an that's a part of it, but using that character and practiceat being practical, you know critical thinking. So that's is definitely king.I speak to that now. What's a failure that you a failure that you'veexperienced, that you think many or head or for could be headed for, ithink we get so busy day today. You know i know myself. I try to do theabsolute best job. I try to give everybody. I work for a hundred and tenpercent right, but in so doing we tend to isolate ourselves. We get so tunnelvisioned on what we're doing day in and day out that we fail to take thosecouple of minutes and pick up the phone and call a colleague, you know get adifferent perspective. Hey are you dealing with the same challenges thati'm dealing with? You know what are the things that you're see and what aresome of the best practices that you're that you're seeing success with stayplugged? In with your colleagues, you know, that's that's also to an awkwardconversation have if you find yourself in a situation where i maybe thecompany didn't, do so well, and they didn't really cut you and on that nowyou find yourself unemployed or you know, made or making cutbacks or, forwhatever reason, that's a you know, that's that's kind of a difficult thingto call somebody you haven't spoken to in two years and go hey. You know. Ifanybody up there, that's hiring. So you know even just on the practical sideright, so you know not even just to keep yourself sharp on the professionalside, but just to kind of keep yourself plugged in yeah. You know and again youdo that through different associations right. I look very forward to going totrucking association, spring conferences, annual conferences. Youknow it's a place too, where you get that boost from time to time right younow a lot of times in our environment. We get a lot of bad news. We're alwayshearing about people, hurt y a hearing about people whose lives were changed.You know a crash, you know somebody was seriously injured in a crash and youknow we get that doom and gloom a lot yeah, it's good, also for to get withpeople and get some recognition. You know different. You know the groupsthat i've been involved in. You know i've gotten awards and recognition inthe lake and that's pretty rewarding, been involved in state truckingassociation, safety committees and those types of things as well. Sothat's a that's a great way to do it. The other thing i kind of took that asa multi facet, one of the things we do as well too is we get ourselves toorigid right. Sometimes you can't tell the difference between your safetyperson and the regulatory officer you have. You don't want to be that, guythat when the director of operations comes and says hey, we got this problemthat all you do is keep on problems. You don't help them find workablesolutions. You know yeah. Certainly...

...there are non negotiables right so whenthe regulations say must and shall there's not a lot of gray area thereyeah, but when there's when there's times where they use a shoot or may youknow okay, if there's a little bit of room in there, be an asset, always beapproachable? You don't want to be. You know that safety, cop or a regulatoryofficer you just going to lose all that street cred. We talked about yeah, youknow, there's nothing more painful than talking to a driver or even anothermanagement entity from a different department that says yeah. I guess youforgot what it was like when you sat. You know when you did what we do yeahand that hurts it really hurts a don't ever lose your perspective where youcome from, and i had one of those safety mentors that i was referring toearlier. He preached to me with something that stayed with me forever.So we need to look at a three legged stool approach right for a company tobe successful, there has to be quality, production and safety all in equalmeasure. So if we try to encase ourselves in a bubble and try to be toosafe, i mean this sounds crazy. Coming from a safety professional yeah, but ifwe cripple ourselves worried with too much focus on safety, we may not do aquality job, but we're certainly not going to produce so in that in thatlate. So i say this so you know a road becomes snow covered. Okay, what wouldbe the safest thing ground the fleet right, but we have customer demands. Wehave you know people need the product. So certainly you know when it's an icesituation and the roads are impassable. We have to recognize that that's one ofthe musts. I guess right muster shall put you can drive safely in the snow.If you operate the snow, seek the appropriate training yeah, you knowmake sure that your drivers all understand the risks associated withdriving in snow and those types of situation. Rain high winds, all thosethings very important that they know when it is coming the ground, an shutit down. But there are times where you know if our competition is finding away to push through and they're doing it safely. What does that say to uswith our customers right? So we need to. We need to find that balance, and we dothat through highering, the right people, training them up and thentrusted them to do the right job. Okay, okay! Now let me ask you this: if youhave a situation to where you know, you may have a little extreme, whether youcan't steal drive, you know in that condition. But what if the driver sayshey, i don't feel comfortable. Is that a possibility? It absolutely is, andit's in the rag. So we talked about the difference between osea, rags and f mcsa rags right for dot regs, so the drivers, the captain of that ship andit's actually in the rags that if the the driver's word is law in terms of ifhe feels that that vehicle is not safe, the conditions are unsafe and you knowdo you want to be that guy who presses somebody into an uncomfortablesituation and you find out they were right. After all, so we talked aboutyou know prior experience, you know going over doners pass and for anybodyelse in no doners pass. It's in california. On i eighty and it's atwenty eight mile continuous down grade you go from. I believe it's ninethousand feet at the peak down to a thousand foot and it really doesn'tplato he in through there, and if you you know you go off with that and theconditions are not favorable. You know and you get into trouble early in thatdescent. It's not going to get any better. So you know, if you have asituation where you have a driver, that's uncomfortable. He says man, youknow i'd tackle this in the day light, but i'm not comfortable doing it atnight. So i'm going to shut it down we're going to wake up in the morningand hit it at first late. That would be a wise decision yeah. Maybe there mightbe patches of ice things like that that are much more difficult to see at nightthan they would be in the daytime. So you know that would be a perfectexample of that yeah. Nice and again i like how that ties in to you being inthe truck before knowing from experience what the drivers talkingabout when you're talking about going down doners pass as opposed to having asafety, a director and manager that...

...never you know been in a truck. Youknow they just have that book knowledge that so it goes a long way. He may notunderstand that and say well, i did a weather check and you should be okay,you know so that speech and it's called connected. You know it goes back tobeing in a truck being practicable, being able to relate that message toyour guy. Now i want to kind of speak, told some of the resources, maybe tools channels, a people aren't usingcorrectly to is files in your opinion, look at what you already have in houseright, a lot of times. You know if you again, i'm very transportation here,but a lot of transportation companies use what they call a ts managementprogram, so transportation management program, so they do their dispatcherthrough that their billing right through that keep all their do alltheir record, keeping on the customer side that way handle their their lossprevention side through there. I work for a carrier. One time that i came in.I followed a gentleman that was quite senior. He was seventy nine years oldwhen i took over, he was not technologicallysophisticated to say the least. I applauded his efforts. What he did dohe did at least get in and try to use excel and things like that. But therewas a whole suite of resources in that particular tms system that had satthere. The company had been paying for it as part of their subscription and itsot there for seven years. Gathering dust completely unused, so i made thatmy top priority to get in there learn that system top the bottom and startutilizing it. I set my own goal. I guess to get that up and running insideof ninety days, and i met that goal, and you know the cfo, the owner of thecompany. They were very pleased because now they were getting reports that theynever saw before. You know they could ask me, you know what i what's ourbiggest loss that we're have. You know what are our drivers that are on thatradar screen, you know, are unsafe drivers. What are what kind of lossesare we seeing on an individual driver basis? I could now give them thatinformation within minutes and send it over to them. You know i could i couldpull a driver safety report on an individual driver. Nobody that wasthere prior to me was able to do that. You know those are the kind of thingsthat you know that wins you a lot of favor with your company as well. Ididn't ask for them to purchase anything they already had it. Savethose resources, save those resources to be able to join those stateassociations, be able to invest in your employee development, be able to youknow a lot of times, it's the top guy that goes to these conferences in thelake. I was very proud to be able to take two or three of my staff with me.When time allows yeah, you know they get to see it first hand again, groomin them for the future. You know those that said that they wanted to advancethose. It said that they were interested in possibly being a coordinator or amanager level later on so yeah take them. Show them what's show him whatlet pay ahead, you know, get them to start network and with other people.One of the things that i kind of laugh and say is that, if we're doing our jobcorrectly on the safety side, yeah we render ourselves obsolete. So you knowif the safety director takes a week off that shouldn't be a big deal. Thingsshould just continue to go on right, yeah. If you get to the point whereyour safety program is, i hate to use the word, but i guess not. I reallydon't have a better one right now, but police from within yeah. So once youstart getting to the point where let's say you have three four drivers sittingaround, you know out in their trucks- and you know it's nightfall and theysee a guy trying to leave out of the yard, with three or four mark relatesout on the trailer and a head lay out well yeah, okay, safety's going to findout about that when they get the fine on the roadside, inspection or just get pulled over ye, because it'sobviously that's in what they call an observable defect: yeah, how cool wouldthat be those two or three or four drivers that are sitting around theirtrucks, get on the radio and say: where do you think you're going you're goingto make us all? Look bad yeah, t pit...

...back to the shop and get those thingsfixed, yeah you know and when that kind of thing starts to happen, that's whenwe've really done our job. What you've done is it's not do this or else whatyou've done is again, those light bulbs have gone off right. They understandthat it affects everybody. Yeah no person is an island when it comes tosafety or just even in their job in general. So if that driver goes out,you know they get that violation or they have a poor roadside inspection.You know, typically, if a guy's leaving with three or four marker lakes out onthe trailer and a head laid out, there's probably issues with breakadjustments and all those kinds of things that he didn't catch on the pretrip, and now we've got freit sitting on the side of the road out of serviceuntil somebody comes out and makes the necessary repairs. So that becomes asecurity issue that becomes even bigger safety issue, were god forbid, thebreak problem was so severe that it resulted in a crash. Now the freightnever makes it to its destination and we have at a minimum an injury, letalone you know, god forbid, a fatality or a disabling injury. So you know justwith all of that said. If people are starting to understand you know, everyrank and file employee understands that safety starts with them, and it trulydoes that. That's when you know we hear all these trendy terms of safetyculture. Well, that's when you have a positive safety culture. Everyone has asafety culture. Every organization has a safety culture that can be bad. Thatcan be positive. So in this sense you know that's the foundation towards apositive safety culture. I'll give you another practical example on that thata lot of people can relate to so back in the day. You know when dirk cheaterwas part of the yankees, and you know they had those that run of. I think itwas four championships in five years. So when you know you think in baseballin september they call up minor leaguers, they expand the rosters, theycall it minor leaguers to see you know if they have some. You get these guysto face major league competition in september and see if they have what ittakes for consideration for the roster next year. So let's say you get a guywho you know he's one of the september call up he's a he's, a minor leaguerthat you call up and he hits a week round ball the second base right. So hetakes about three steps towards first pace. You know he's not legging it outand he assumes he's going to get thrown out. He takes three steps and he peelsoff towards the dugout now. Do you think that the manager joe tory at thattime, was going to have to deal with that player? Now we guys lay jeter fromthe team. Jeeter was going to meet him at the top step and go. If you want tobe here tomorrow, you are we hustle every play out. We,you know, never assume that you're going to get thrown out. That's whenyou have, in my view of positive safety culture. That's when it comes fromwithin nice, nice- and you know again that speaks to you- creating thatculture by high, how you know you're going over certain procedures, how yourelate to your team and it's a team effort. That's a great example. Youmention some achievements awards. Are there any particular achievements orwars that you're more proud of than any others? Yeah? I had another stop on thetour, i guess so to speak. Was i had built another safety program, a dotprogram from the ground up almost a mirror image. There was the people thatwere in place where osea specialists, environmental specialists and they meet some acquisitions, and next thingyou know they had ninety commercial vehicles and they looked around andsaid. I know there's a lot here that we don't know about operating commercialvehicles safely on the regulatory compliance in the lake and thatparticular director of safety. Again she was a an environmental health andsafety specialist ocean background knew she knew virtually nothing about dotregulation. So that's where i came in so i took that position and built aprogram i am. I cannot take credit for...

...it because i didn't drive a single milein any of those commercial vehicles, but what i do take credit for iscreating an environment through training through policy. Through allthese, you know all the different things that go along with running asafety program, good hiring criteria, support for the management, you knowthe direct supervisors and these drivers, and in our first year ofeligibility we took a state of florida, safe driving award for our class. Wehad zero recordable crashes for the entire year and that's to me i'm very,very proud of that. Again, i can't take credit for it. You know we start takingcredit for those and we start getting puffed up, and you know getting yourchest out there a little too far. Well, you got to take blame when a truckcrashes- and you know you really can't take blame for that either unless youwere grossly negligent and didn't, provide the training and things likethat because you didn't actually drive the truck. But when you put anenvironment together were good safety. Professor, a good, safe professionaldrivers can thrive. That's the proof right there. It is.This can be done. It can be done safely. Drivers can drive vehicles withoutbeing involved in crashes once in a while. You know there is a crash.That's going to a car, it's just s, you know somebody's going to have an errorof judgment, there's going to be things that are out of your control, but youknow that's why i don't want to go down a whole another road, but that's why wemake preventable determinations right. We say: okay, what role did our driverhas? You know was this something that could have been prevented, or was thissomething that there was just no way despite our driver's best efforts?Could this have been prevented? Perfect example is that is we're stopped at atraffic signal are later illuminated driver's foots on the break. The breaklates are properly illuminated. Let's say the somebody that's following islooking at a text or something and crashes into the rear, but on there'sabsolutely nothing more. We could have done to prevent that crash from acaring. So, but again you know we didn't even have any of those. So someof that i'm sure we were fortunate, but a lot of that to you know you look atyour driver. Did we do anything to put ourselves in harm's way? Could we havestopped? Maybe a little more gradually could we have hit the brakes in advanceto alert the driver behind us that you know there's a pending reason to stop.You know, don't just hit the brakes once and stop. You know, hit the brakestap the brakes, get that late to late. You know, get it the flash right intheir eyes and then gradually come to a stop. So even even the things thatwould seem like they're completely non preventable. There are things we can do,possibly to lessen the risk. I guess of beinginvolved in that you know drivers out on the interstate. You know look at thesituation there and yep following distance is key right, but don't allowyourself to be boxed in either. You know, don't allow people to decide youknow or to become encroached or boxed in you know. Those are all good toolsof defensive driving that can help with crash preventable as well. Okay, niceand you know you speaking about accidents or what not can you kind ofwalk us through your procedure when the accident with one of your drivershappened? What's the kind of the next steps and what procedures do you gothrough when that happens sure well, back in the day, we would gather allthe information we could get. You know we would, if possible, we'd getsomebody out to the scene depending on the severity of the crash yea. If itwas right, local, we go out to the scene ourselves. I took a several crashinvestigation courses, learning how to diagram the scene, all the things thatthe police learn as well, certainly not as well as they do, but you know justthe cliffs notes of the brief synopsis on it. So you understand how to handlethe scene and the like and that's that's a valuable tool, but with propertraining you're. You know if it's a situation where you can't get somebodyout there time won't alow whatever through proper training, you can teachyour drivers how to gather proper information out the scene. How to takepictures. Pictures pictures pictures if we say n a picture's worth a thousandwords right. So you know that i mean...

...take pictures, even if they don't thinkit's going to be helpful or useful. Take pictures of vehicles at final rest.Take pictures of those skid marks. Take pictures of you know that bottle ofbeer, that's open in the passenger side of the vehicles, the the other party'svehicle. You know show that that cell phone sitting on the passenger seat,you know, show all of those things, but now in today's world i can't even beginto talk about the value of dash cams and i'm not here to promote any buddies,dash cam any one in particular or anything because that's not with thisform is for, but i will tell you i cannot believe the result we've got onusing dash cams both you know. We talked about the pro activity versusthe reactivity right. So when we have the craft scene, we started withreactivity. Now, i'm kind of taking that into a pro activity situationwhere the driver behavior has improved incredibly we've over the past tenweeks. We just literally put a new program in place. We purchased ash cans and installed them.We got them fully operational by the end of the first quarter of this year,so just in the ten weeks since i've noticed a twenty three point: fivepercent in behavioral improvement, so the one that we are using generate o adriver's safety score and we've taken that score from six twenty nine a week,one to seven. Seventy seven last week and week to date so far we're right inand around that number. So it's having lasting effects as well. The other byproduct of that is we just in those ten weeks there were two vehicular crashes,so this will get us back on the point where now i had irrefutable videoevidence of exactly what happened in the crash exactly what the othervehicles actions were. I knew how long that the other party had to react tothe crash. I know for sure that our driver had stopped and made a full stopat the intersection before accroche the intersection. I also know that ourdriver went a full five seconds. He started motion five seconds beforeimpact occurred, and i also know that our driver had limited visibility tohis left. Where the other vehicle came from so when our driver did look to theleft, it was clear before he started to encroach the intersection, so we wereable, you know, that's just one of two crashes. Another crash we had was avehicular rollover which resulted in a workers complan as well for someinjuries on that side, and we were able to deny both of those crashes and theworkers complain. I can't get into specifics because that could go legaletcetera, but with that evidence we you know, we've already started makingsignificant progress towards paying for those dash, cams and i'm sure, there'sgoing to be a resulting savings on the insurance ratable side. When wecome up for renewal so but yeah having having those can those dash cams- andyou know it just- makes my job so easy now on the preventable non preventableside, because i have all the fact e, it's not it's not here, say any moreand trying to piece together what happened. I can look at it in virtuallyin real time. I can slow it down. I can blow things up. I can look at thosedetails. We did the two way cameras we did the forward facing till. We seewhat the driver seis, but i also we put the driver facing cameras, so we cansay yes, our driver did not have a cell phone in his hand. He was notdistracted prior to the craft. Yes, our driver did come to a complete stop. Yes,our driver did look both ways. I can say that with confidence, and even ifyou do have a situation where your driver is at fault and you guys aredead to rights, you want to know that information before you try to defendyourself and you find out that somebody else has information. You didabsolutely so ten out of ten attorneys...

...are going to say. I want to know thatgoing in, because if we have that we talked about that four hundred elevenmillion dollar nuclear verdict that we referred to before no attert worth hissalt would have let that go to trial. They would have settled that, no matterwhat it took before it went to trial that even put that in the hands of ajury. So i can't even begin to tell you the value of this technology. That'sout there and oh yeah, by the way on that reptile theory, if you're notutilizing a dash cam at this point, one of the things that 'll be used againstyou is, we talked about being good citizens of the safety community. Theplaniston ey will take you apart will say well that technology's been inplace now for several years. This is nothing new, so you know. Is theresomething that are you embarrassed by your driver's behavior? Is there thingsthat you're trying to hide? Well, my answer is now we employed them. So one of the thingsthat they'll say you know for the companies that don't is that you're notbeing a good citizen of the safety community. You are not doing your partto add to highway safety. Doing all that you can do to make the highways asafer place. Absolutely not in me actually dis. Did you receive any typeof push back for many of your drivers before you in started the cameras ofdas camps absolutely before and during so you know a lot of we've seen allmanner of different ways. They tried to block the cameras we actually had a guywas he thought he was being a real slick and he took vasolene or someother substance and put it on the wind shield. So i made a blur and he did iton the rear facing one as well in some of our mounts. They can actually takethe sun, visor and flip it down in front, but what they don't realize iswe actually get an alert when the when one of the cameras is blocked. So wesimply we get an alert sent to our in box or just see if we happen to moneronto the dash board and we get an alert so i've already that that would havebeen a situation where i never would have seen, because we don't just anddesk hims to there's a misnomer there. It's not just set up where you can spyon your drivers at any. Given time right, so you need to have an alert,something that's generated. I mean certainly yeah. If there's a situationwhere you know there was an interesting event that didn't necessarily triggeran alert. You know, maybe a property damage, alert where you know one ofyour drivers, the customers claim, and you know they tore up some landscapingor something. Okay. If you you know, you can go back in and dig in aroundthat time frame and see what happened, but none of us have the time nor thedesire to just be spying on our drivers. What they're? Having for lunch, wherethey're going? What they're doing you know if you can't trust your yourdrivers? They don't belong in your trunk, but we do want to have thatinformation like i alluded to before. We want to be able to exonerate ourdriving force. We want to know yeah, for you know those questions that i hadalluded to before. No for sure he did not have a cell phone in his hand. Hewas not engaged in a hand held cell phone conversation. Yes, he was usingappropriate bluetooth technology and all those things, and we want to. Wewant to be able to state that with confidence with no wavering in ourvoice, because if it does go to trial, that's exactly what the attorney'sgoing to exploit, but yeah yeah to answer that question yeah, but now wehave several drivers now that you know again this score we've. You know itsets up a pseudo competition amongst drivers and you talk to the drivereverybody's, the best driver right who drives better than you. No, but nita,i'm not really a good driver. Well, now, are you the best of the best okay? Whatwas your score of this wee? We've got a guy, that's so conscientious that i wasjust talking to his manager yesterday. As a matter of fact, and if he doesn't,you start with a base line, score of a thousand and eighty ducks from thereevery week, so if he doesn't maintain a thousand or even exceed a thousand bytaking proactive step so like, for...

...example, at a adam at a merge on thehighway. So the camera will recognize both vehicles in that. So when the,when the other vehicle merges on to the roadway and our driver backs off of thethrottle to create safe, cushion, save space and safe passage for that mergeto occur, they get what's called a driver star and that can actually addbonus points to their score. So if his name is daniel, i won't go any morespecific than that. Betif daniel doesn't get a thousand or a thousandand twenty in a given week. Well, he's all been out of shape and that's thekind of problems we want to have on the safety side. So you know he s. If he'snot the top guy in the fleet, there's something wrong, and i love that youknow these guys and again. I that i can definitely show you quantifiablenumbers that say thet our driver behavior improved significantly and isstarting to show some staying power. So maybe we plateaued around seven seventyseven for a while until we're ready to take the next step, but i've also beenable to identify who my true problem drivers are and where i need to devotethose resources immediately to you know, instead of just saying: well, i'm goingto do defensive driving with everybody in the fleet. Now i know who my top tentargets are right now and and or my top locations that i need to address withurgency before there's a problem: yeah yeah, no and yeah. That's a great wayto be able to monitor that, and yet you could pin point specifically who youneed to address it. A that's! A great way were you kind of surprised by theresult of the dash cams and how well it's going so far. Yeah yeah, like you,said, not that they work, because i know certainly from past experience andfrom talking to colleagues in the lake that they do work but just like, i saidin ten weeks, twenty three and a half percent. So if i told you you couldgive me a thousand dollars and in ten weeks i'll give you twenty three and ahalf percent return on that you'd sign up for that all day, long right,absolute, where you, where you got on you, yeah all right so o. If i couldtell any safety professional in here, i could we could improve your metrictwenty three and a half percent in a ten week period and, like i said it'snot just, doesn't look like a flash in the pan. There's been steadyimprovement, that's been quantifiable, improvement, steady improvement and itlooks like it has staying power. So again, like i said we hit that seven,seventy seven as a high last week and so far when i logged on we're right inand around that number this week. So i have no reason to believe we won't meetor exceed that number. You know so yeah, i'm very surprised by how fast it was.Do you speculate or think it's a possibility that the government mademan date have a dash cams and the truck is at something that might be comingdown the pipeline. I don't think it's going to go there, but what i am so idid some insurance work in the lake last year, some independent work and iwas doing risk assessment, evaluations for insurance companies and most of thetime they wanted me to report back whether or not he there word dash camsor some other form of effective telematics in the vehicles and thatthey were being used effectively because it's becoming a bindrequirement more and more and more, and even if it doesn't become a bindrequirement for your policy. Those carriers are going to pay more fortheir insurance just because they aren't employing those tools. So ican't even begin to tell you how worthwhile, when investment that is soagain, we said we were able to do fold denial of two vehicular crashes, veryserious, vehicular crashes. In some cases, both of them resulted in rollover events. Whether it was our vehicle or the other vehicle, one was aworker's complement. We know a lot of times those get more expensive thanthan the vehicular crash itself. You know if you're, if you're payingdisability for somebody, you know god forbid permanent disability- or youknow you have to pay for you know that person's long term care treatment thatgets expensive. You know on your on...

...your insurance. I know of several thathave gone into. You know several millions of dollars in reserves, so youknow so a hundred and fifty thousand dollarinvestment. Let's just say: let's throw that number out there, that's aboutwhat our investment was in. It we've already pretty much paid thosedividends back ya, and i mean we're talking about in one court nice. So youknow that's, that's a pretty fast return on absolutely absolutely andthen you know its bees. It goes back to you know what we mentioned earlierabout investing in safety and is paying off on the back hand, so in the specieof that we're going to get ready to wrap it up so, but i like to safety isserious. Safety is real. I know i have a lot of clients that you know thinkthat hey oceans, not out there dot would have you don't taste safetyseriously. I like to you know: have you tell a story, any horror story so tospeak or something that could any bad accidents or you know something due todriver negligence? Is there any type of story you can share with us the kind ofsomething you won't? Never forget? No yeah. We did do this this more on theocean side, but you know when i had told you my experience when i startedmoving from driver into the safety realm was l tl carriers which, forthose that don't know, that's less than truck load. So that's you're not on adrop any names, but you know who the players are in those games, so youthey're the guys that come out and pick up one dram one palate. You know thattype of thing as a come as opposed to coming and picking up you know a fulltruck load and taking it from one place to the other. So to make that operationwork, you have your local, what they call pand guys and they go out and pickup the free, bring it back to the common location, all of that freesestransferred to what they call line hall unit, so any freak that's head and west.So let's say you know you have a place here in florida. Okay, so you knowanything that's head and west, so you know that gets put on a truck. Maybethe next stop is houston. So all that stuff starts migrating west towardshouston. To get that accomplished. All that freed us to be handled, whetherit's by free handlers themselves that are using hand truck pale, jacks thosetypes of things, but there's also a lot of for clift operations, and thatcreates a whole lot of other issues on the oseas in terms of training and allthat, but one of the things- and i can't take full credit for it, but ican just talk about the effective or the the effectiveness of putting propersafety protocols in place, no matter how trivial or how minor you think theymight be. So we had a situation where the guys on the fore cliffs had beengetting a bunch of particulars into their eyes: lots of dust, little piecesof wood, those kinds of things- and you know they were using the eye washstations a lot trying to get these things. You know out of their eyes, soour vice president is safety. You know we came to a consensus and his rulingwas that everybody that operated a fork lift was to wear safety glasses period.If so, if you're going to be on a fore, cliff you're going to wear safety,glases or goggles, we had a situation i'll skip right to it. You know not tobe labor the point, but we had a catastrophic event where there was afuel leak under the engine calling. This was an l, pg machine, so propane,and i learned a lot more about propane and lp g machines than i ever cared toas a result to that. But it was a cooler morning. The the propane washeavier than the ambient air and sung to the bottom, so the enginecompartment filled up with pro paine. What i found out in our investigationis that in a ten percent or greater concentration, propane becomes more orless spontaneously combustible and explosive, so there was an unknownsource of ignition. My strong theory is that it was the alternator field,creating spark and that fork truck immediately burst in the flames and theoperator was surrounded by flames and sustained significant burns throughoutabout ninety percent of his body, one of the biggest things that helped uswith the ocean investigation- and you...

...know we did all our forensicinvestigation and the like one of the biggest things and and even keep theocha aside just the welfare of the employee, because that's what we trulyshould be concerned about is that he had burns all on his entire face,except in the outline of the safety classes. So we are absolutely certainthat the safety glasses saved that man's eye sator he'd be blind right nowand i am happy to say that he made a full and one hundred percent completerecovery and actually, inside of about a year, return to full duty, nice, nowith with one hundred percent of his eyesaight. So we never know right atthat started out as just putting the best practice in place to protectagainst particular injuries, and we saved the man's eyesight in acatastrophic event. A through that. So you know- and i will say this becauseagain i can't take credit for all of it. It was a full team effort from thewhole safety group from the specialist that we had on staff, and you know thiswas a larger organization, but we had zero in fines or citations that wereable to stick against it on the ocean side. For and when i talked about acatastrophic event, we deployed twenty three sprinkler heads from the firesuppression system and when the guy came out to replace those sprinklerheads he said never have. I ever replaced twenty three sprinkler headsin a single fire event, because obviously that fire, you know got on tothe dock. You know other free caught on fire, but the trailer that was beingloaded caught on fire. There was a a pallet of arosa cans on that trailerthat caught fire. So when i arrived on the scene, there were flaming aerosolcans firing across the dock. So i mean it was a pretty catastrophic event, butwe were able to prove through the forensic evaluation that it was a justa freak then that there was a fuel line at that started. The leak that couldnot have been foreseen through normal means, a pre trip. Inspection would nothave shown that and again the key thing there. The o, no osea fines orcitations is one thing, but the key thing there is that employee didmaintain his eye sate and return to one hundred percent full duty in about ayear. So that's just thatch, just something. That's just tremendous. Youjust never know how any minor best practice can affect a greater outcome.Absolutely it's a blessing that that turned out worked out well for simplethings like the ppe wearing those goggles, that's a great story, and itworked out well on both for both parties for him and the company. So,but before i let you go, is there anything that you want to leave us withanything that we didn't touch on any messages that you want to leave ourlisteners with before we go? No, no. I think we had a great discussion. Ithink there's a lot of food for thought here and the things that we haddiscussed you just again. I guess it would just be to reiterate the pointthat no matter how minor you think of best practice might be. You know you'rejust trying to prevent a minor injury. You know if you take care of thosethose small things. I guess you know. On the industrial side, many of us arefamiliar with heinrick triangle right or heinrichs analysis. So you know ifyou take care of those small things yeah. I know it's been disputed, youknow and and and i would tend to agree- i don't think it's a hard and fastratio like that, but i think the message is good. The message saysessentially that if you take care of those small things that at least if thebig thing is going to take longer before it hapned before it actuallyhappens right, so you know, if we're being reckless, you can expect you knowinjuries and incidents to ramp up to a greater level of severity quicker,whereas if we're have a robust safety program, a good safety culture and allthose things that we talked about are in place. I think those types ofcatastrophic events that i talked about will probably be a one off and, like isaid in that case, you know that i...

...really could not have been prevented.It really couldn't. It was a situation that the forensic investigation of themachine it just it was a situation where there was just a leak thatcouldn't have been detected. It was a gas leak and you know it's not. Itwasn't a liquid like gasoline, but you know with all the other things thatwere in place. You know the employee was wearing a seat belt. We were ableto. You know say that you know. Yes, the employee suffered injury, but itwas not a fatality and a lot of that was in part of all the best practicesand the attention that was paid to safety. You know for many many weeks,months and years prior to that, yeah was no coincidence that that had thebest possible outcome. Okay, nice, nice and thank you for leaving us with thatjim. It was a pleasure. We got a there's, a pleasure of beating you as apleasure. Speaking to you, i feel, like i have a safety contact somebody i canlean on to even if we could tell old trucking stories. We thank you for joining this day you fortaking a time out of your busy schedule. Thank you for joining us on the safetymanagement show again, i'm your host my be with safety services company anduntil next time they say in need of a blue print for workplacesafety and compliance safety services. Company is north america's leadingprovider of safety, training and compliant solutions. We supply customsafety, manuels and policies and on sight and online training solutionsthat will enhance the safety of your workplace and our compliance serviceswill save you time and resources guaranteeing peace of mind witheighteen years in the industry we have a proven track record of helpingcustomers achieve better safety outcomes by providing customizesolutions that fit the unique needs of each business to learn more had tosafety services. Company thanks for listening to the safetymanagement, show to hear more stories from safety leaders subscribe to theshow in your favorite podcast player. If you enjoyed the show, leave us arating until next time stay safe, t.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (10)