The Evolution of Security Human Elements In accordance with Band-Support Bob

8 Oct by Timothy Harris

The Evolution of Security Human Elements In accordance with Band-Support Bob

It is a story of the individuals who helped form immediately’s security business and paved the best way for future modifications within the administration and notion of well being and security. That is additionally a narrative of the evolution of well being and security in response to a security skilled we’ll name Band-aid Bob.

Within the Starting

Within the late 1800’s, there have been no well being and security professionals. Corporations would by no means have considered retaining folks particularly to handle well being and security for them. In truth, within the office, people actually weren’t ranked all that prime as a useful resource. Within the mining business for instance, mules have been usually used to haul gear and supplies out and in of the mines. When a severe incident occurred corresponding to an explosion, rescue operations centered not on people however on the mules. A useless mule value the mine round $24 to switch. A employee, making round $three per day, was cheap to switch as there was typically a lineup of individuals prepared to work in alternate for pay. If a employee was solely injured he could be despatched dwelling to get better with no pay. If he recovered totally, he could be allowed to return to work.

Within the early 1900’s (i.e. round 1914), employees’ compensation insurance coverage was established in lots of areas in North America. The insurance coverage offered compensation to workers who have been injured in addition to to the households of those that had died on the job. It was at the moment that corporations began hiring folks to assist patch up their injured employees and to get them again to work as quickly as doable, in addition to assist stop additional accidents. Some known as these folks “security advisers”. The evolution of the Security Adviser’s position is probably greatest proven by the legend of a person referred to as Band-aid Bob.

Band-aid Bob wasn’t his actual identify, however that’s what he got here to be known as. If ever there was a security one that might patch folks up after they have been injured, it was Bob. Presently within the evolutionary historical past of well being and security, there was no such factor as formal well being and security administration techniques. Office accidents have been widespread and accepted as a part of the job. Individuals like Band-aid Bob have been sometimes employed by solely the biggest of corporations who wanted somebody to manage good first support and felt they might afford the overhead. Many of those security folks have been employees with work damage disabilities corresponding to a lacking hand, fingers, or toes. In any case, if anybody knew something about well being and security, it needed to be an already injured employee.

Bob was superb at his job. One night, drained from a tough day of administering bandages, cauterizing wounds, and massaging strained muscle groups, Band-aid Bob determined to take a while for himself. He packed up some gear and hiked into the mountains. Trekking up Mount Doringba, he made an unimaginable discovery that may change how corporations seen worker well being and security.

Excessive on the mountain, Bob stumbled onto some tablets inscribed with unusual writings. Amongst many damaged items of tablets, he discovered two intact items. Enthusiastic about his discover, he introduced the 2 tablets again to the Metropolis and had them transcribed. The tablets’ writings proved to be pivotal to well being and security as they recognized key parts to reaching well being and security excellence. The weather included: Administration Dedication and Involvement, Hazard Identification and Evaluation, Data and Administration, Inspection, and Investigation.

Quickly Bob discovered himself on a talking tour spreading the phrase about his findings, laced with interpretations from none aside from Band-aid Bob himself. When requested in regards to the significance of the writings, Bob would reply, “These key parts are wanted in an effort to obtain security excellence. Success in implementing these parts means you’ll by no means should bandage up an worker once more.”

Current Day Well being & Security Administration Methods

To many individuals, Bob’s new strategy to security made lots of sense and, over time, Bob gained fairly a following. Quickly phrase unfold and firms everywhere in the world adopted the weather. Mounting curiosity within the parts gave rise to quite a few well being & security associations, security professionals and consultants who all helped unfold the phrase to hundreds of thousands of corporations and their workers. Many corporations employed folks devoted to implementing and sustaining these landmark parts. Billions of {dollars} have been spent implementing them.

For a time, enhancements to well being and security have been achieved. Corporations using the weather observed reductions in incident and accident charges. Fatality charges decreased. Insurance coverage charges decreased. This success lasted for a few years however, there got here a time when fatality charges stopped reducing and a few folks began to query the worth of the essential program parts. Others prompt the essential parts had improved about all they might enhance of their corporations. They known as for a re-evaluation of the established order, however the prospect of change was a really laborious promote. By this time, so many individuals had purchased in to the essential well being and security parts that had been handed right down to them by Band-aid Bob. Their livelihood depended upon them. To now purchase into different approaches threatened their very existence and would recommend they’d all alongside been following the unsuitable path.

And so it went on for a few years: corporations entrenched in Bob’s primary parts failed to realize the protection excellence promised them. Many well being and security professionals reported difficulties in getting the weather in place and functioning totally. Presently within the evolutionary period of well being and security techniques, many seen well being and security as a program, separate from all different features of the enterprise. As with different “applications” when occasions obtained robust, well being and security techniques obtained lower or downsized to make means for leaner applications yielding revenue. For a lot of of those corporations, survival and productiveness have been the actual primary priorities. Well being and security was silently thought-about to be an additional value of doing enterprise. It was round this time that some vital truths have been revealed that may lead to one other huge shift in well being and security administration philosophy.

Dissatisfaction continued to extend with the present strategy to well being and security. Band-aid Bob Jr., grandson of Band-aid Bob (who had handed on to that protected haven within the sky) and in addition a Security Adviser, mirrored on the state of well being and security at the moment. Greater than 90 years had handed since Band-aid Bob had found the essential security program parts. This strategy had did not yield the enhancements to worker well being and security that had been promised. If ever there was a time to re-think the outdated failed philosophies round well being and security program administration, this was it. So, Band-aid Bob Jr. packed up his issues and retreated to the mountains, coincidentally to the precise mountain and spot the place his grandfather had retreated a few years in the past.

The New Strategy to Well being and Security Administration

When Band-aid Bob Jr. arrived on the spot the place his grandfather had made his discovery, the realm, at first, appeared clear. However then he chanced on a half-buried rock and upon nearer examination, he observed that it was greater than only a plain outdated rock. Additionally, he observed different rocks poking out of the earth. He spent a while digging them out, packed them up, and returned to his dwelling within the Metropolis. With out hesitation, Bob went to work on cleansing up the rocks and placing the items collectively like a jigsaw puzzle. When he was executed, he discovered that he had two extra full tablets containing extra course on the best way to obtain security excellence.

He had them transcribed into English. When he confirmed off his new discover, there was a terrific commotion, however principally there was disbelief. “How might there be extra parts?” folks exclaimed. There have been many conferences and discussions in regards to the new parts they usually have been examined one after the other. Following is a abstract of what some name “Well being and Security Human Elements,” together with a number of the assembly discussions.

Values/Security Precedence

An organization’s actual well being and security priorities are revealed not by cleverly crafted insurance policies posted all through the amenities, however by how the workers perform their work. It solely takes one incident of administration telling a crew to drive to the worksite in a blinding storm, to hold out work short-staffed, to work swiftly, or to skip the pre-job security assembly, to undermine hundreds of verbal and written affirmations of “security first”. Employees’ behaviour are strongly influenced by their perceptions of the corporate’s actual well being and security priorities. In the event that they imagine security takes a again seat to manufacturing, workers will make the choice to take that journey in dangerous climate or work shorthanded. When an incident happens it’s straightforward guilty the worker for not complying with the documented procedures. Sadly, the corporate’s actual values and priorities are not often recognized as even contributing incident components.


A bond of belief could also be fashioned between employees and administration when the acts of administration persuade employees that they will confide of their supervisors and may depend on them to behave or reply in a predictable means. For instance, managers are trusted once they promptly comply with up on security assembly points. In such an surroundings of belief, workers will freely convey up issues of safety at security conferences as a result of they know they are going to be acted upon. Alternatively, lack of motion results in lack of belief and plenty of very quiet conferences. Belief can be diminished when it’s violated, corresponding to when an settlement between supervisor and employee is damaged. As soon as this belief is damaged, it requires many optimistic acts by administration to regain it.

Worker Participation/Autonomy

Staff should really feel that they’ve a “stake” in this system. Staff are extra accepting of a program they helped develop than they’re of 1 that has merely been handed right down to them. For instance, it’s tough to think about something extra boring or wasteful than a team of workers sitting round a desk in a security assembly, listening to their supervisor learn out protected work procedures developed by both them or the Security Advisor. Half of the workers current will probably have their thoughts elsewhere. What actually will get workers’ consideration is having them take part in security process workouts or emergency drills, then soliciting their enter. Worker participation brings about improved procedures that workers are extra dedicated to following as a result of they’ve participated of their improvement.

Autonomy takes worker participation to a different degree as workers are allowed to truly make key selections on numerous features of this system. The degrees of dedication obtained by participation and autonomy are far larger than what could be obtained by a supervisor studying aloud at a gathering. Corporations that enable for a excessive diploma of worker autonomy typically have what is often known as an “open tradition” as a result of they interact workers in selections and within the inventive processes.


Credibility is intently aligned with belief. Belief is gained when there aren’t any variations between what is alleged and what’s practised. For instance, when administration condones or ignores the behaviour of employees who aren’t complying with procedures, credibility is misplaced. The following time administration promotes compliance to procedures, workers will roll their eyes in disbelief. Alternatively, if administration is aggressive in correcting the behaviour of some people however not others, their credibility once more comes into query. As with all of those human components, there aren’t any boundaries to guard administration from these destructive worker perceptions leaching into different features of the enterprise. If one has misplaced credibility in security, credibility total is misplaced. A supervisor’s potential to handle all different features of the job successfully is negatively affected.


Management is a key factor of the human factor-oriented strategy to well being and security. It’s management’s phrases and actions that set up behavioural expectations of workers. One can typically decide the extent of administration’s management in well being and security by observing how employees behave on the job. If workers reveal a scarcity of dedication to well being and security it’s as a result of administration has not led the well being and security cost. So as to affect workers, leaders should reveal unwavering assist for well being and security whatever the enterprise local weather of the day.

Leaders should at all times “stroll the discuss.” They will by no means make exceptions and permit operations to take precedence over worker security. For instance, if a supervisor, regardless of operational prices, shuts a job down to make sure employee security, she or he is a frontrunner who will likely be believed when he/she proclaims that security is primary. When exceptions are made to permit manufacturing to proceed on the expense of security, the management sends a powerful message that manufacturing is absolutely the primary precedence. Underneath these circumstances, any makes an attempt to persuade workers that security is administration’s primary precedence are merely not plausible.


When corporations reveal to workers they honestly care, they profit from the laborious work carried out by happy workers. They’re additionally rewarded with workers who’re extra dedicated to the corporate. This typically interprets into improved security, productiveness, high quality, and/or service. Right here is one small however highly effective instance of caring. Some corporations ship flowers to workers and their members of the family who’re critically in poor health within the hospital. This act represents little or no by way of funding in time or cash and goes a good distance in the direction of growing workers’ sense of safety, compliance, satisfaction, and loyalty to the corporate.


Newly employed workers come to employers with their very own pre-conceived well being and security attitudes and expectations. If their attitudes are intently aligned with the corporate’s and their friends’, their attitudes will likely be bolstered. If this isn’t the case, the brand new worker may have difficulties becoming in. For instance, an worker who doesn’t settle for the necessity to comply with all security guidelines, procedures, and many others. is not going to probably comply with them when the boss is away. If she or he hasn’t previously, why begin now? One strategy to keep away from a lot of these points is to enhance the hiring/screening course of. Rent workers whose values and attitudes are aligned with these of the group. Put merely, ensure that they’re a correct match for the corporate.

Many corporations focus their new worker orientation efforts on the content material of the brand new worker orientation program. As vital because the content material is, the orientation course of is equally vital. Most workers get their actual orientation once they start working with their friends. Friends inform new workers on “how issues are actually executed round right here.” If the brand new worker is oriented by a peer or peer group that feels a number of security exceptions are okay, the brand new worker will likely be oriented with the unsuitable messages. New worker orientations ought to be carried out by skilled workers who’re aligned with the corporate well being and security values and rules.

Band-aid Bob Jr. recollects employers commenting on a number of the silly issues workers do. His response is, “Do you rent them silly or make them silly after you rent them?”


Establish and dispense with folklore or legends of famend previous workers or heroes that don’t reinforce the behaviours which can be at present desired. For instance, Angus MacTavish was a fuel utility worker. Legend has it he as soon as carried out a rescue by leaping into to a bell gap stuffed with leaking fuel. First he minimized the fuel move by bending over the metal fuel line after which he hoisted an unconscious employee over his shoulder and climbed out of the six-foot-deep bell gap to security. With one other deep breath, Angus apparently went down and saved a second worker. This legend suggests Angus was superhuman. The fact is that there are only a few folks sturdy sufficient to truly do what Angus is rumored to have done-especially below situations of little oxygen and blowing fuel. If this firm now has procedures in place to make sure this sort of rescue isn’t tried, legends corresponding to it will work towards compliance with the brand new process.

So as to attain full compliance, conflicting legends have to be dispelled, in any other case they might be modelled. One strategy to dispel the legend within the above case is to conduct mock workouts to practise eradicating unconscious workers from a bell gap. No worker will have the ability to carry out Alex’s rescue and that may assist reinforce the brand new extra time-consuming however protected rescue process.


Staff should imagine the surroundings they’re working in is truthful and free from bias or injustice. Few workers complain a couple of system through which the requirements and penalties of compliance are laid out clearly and are constantly enforced. If self-discipline is warranted, it have to be perceived to be pretty administered. However, employees turn into annoyed once they have been held accountable for one thing others have been allowed to get away with. One of many worst exceptions on this regard is when employees are disciplined for non-compliance however exceptions are made for supervisors or managers. Corporations ought to at all times attempt to create a simply and truthful tradition.

Worker Satisfaction

It’s a well-known undeniable fact that happy workers are extra productive, take fewer days off for sickness, stick with the corporate longer and have fewer incident/accidents. The deeply hidden advantages of implementing an efficient well being and security program are that it opens the door to good two-way communication and fosters worker participation and belief. On this surroundings, worker satisfaction improves. Glad workers profit corporations not solely by bettering well being and security within the firm, but additionally by bettering all different features of the enterprise. Corporations that view well being and security from this angle perceive that well being and security provides worth to a corporation.

Tradition Influences Behaviour

There are lots of components affecting why people behave the best way that they do. The components influencing worker behaviour are diverse and complicated. Supervisors and managers can’t be counted on to know all of them. Nonetheless, a number of the components that have an effect on behaviour are well-known and understood and due to this fact are helpful instruments for administration and supervisors.

For instance, behavioural science tells us that if supervisors and administration present optimistic recognition for any fascinating behaviour, the behaviour is extra more likely to be repeated. If an undesirable behaviour is condoned or neglected as a result of the supervisor or supervisor chooses to not handle it, the undesirable habits will likely be bolstered and repeated. All supervisors and managers ought to concentrate on these easy behavioural truths that every one supervisors and managers ought to concentrate on.

One other, and maybe less-known, issue influencing worker behaviour is the corporate’s well being and security tradition. A typically accepted description of office tradition is “the best way issues are round right here.” Right here is an instance. Band-aid Bob recollects a time years in the past when he was auditing an organization’s well being and security administration system. Whereas interviewing an older however new worker, he requested about compliance to sporting PPE and following well being and security procedures. The interviewee responded positively and went on to say that if he noticed somebody not complying, he felt snug with and compelled to say one thing to them. Then he revealed his latest non-compliant historical past. Within the firm the place he had beforehand labored for over twenty years, he had generally disregarded the foundations. When requested why the sudden change in behaviour, his response was brief and to the purpose: “As a result of that is the best way we do issues round right here.”

Security wonderful corporations are nicely conscious of the influences {that a} optimistic well being and security tradition can have on worker behaviour. Lots of them conduct security notion surveys to entry worker perceptions in order that they will work on bettering destructive worker perceptions.


Now we have come a good distance for the reason that early phases of well being and security. Every new period has introduced new enhancements to well being and security administration techniques. The brand new parts found by Band-aid Bob Jr. (and real-life well being and security professionals) are proclaiming a brand new and thrilling period the place “well being and security” is not seen as simply one other program, however as a key contributor to success in enterprise. The transfer in the direction of these extra human-oriented parts guarantees to assist result in enhancements to company well being and security tradition that may have optimistic results on all different features of a enterprise. Some corporations have already found these cascading advantages and have developed into well being and security leaders and, not surprisingly, leaders of their respective companies.

The evolution of well being and security doesn’t finish on this period launched by Band-aid Bob Jr. There could also be extra vital parts launched sooner or later and, for now, we should always work in the direction of understanding Band-aid Bob Jr.’s human-factored security parts, figuring out how they may also help us, and studying the best way to measure them in order that we are able to proceed to enhance our well being and security administration techniques. The brand new parts promise to open the door to a number of enhancements for companies-not solely to worker security however high quality, productiveness, and repair. Maybe someday, well being and security applications will not should be mandated. A brand new strategy to well being and security techniques will entice corporations to implement them due to the worth they will convey to a corporation. Certainly, Band-aid Bob Sr. and Jr. would each approve.

Dennis Ryan


Compass Well being & Security Ltd.