2018?? HSE World? Crystal Gazing??

2017 has been a decent year for HSE! No Major industrial disasters, Yes, Grenfel towers fire in UK which claimed 100 lives was a black mark. President Trump’s budget cuts for abolishing CSB escaped with some common sense prevailing at last. The board shall be around to poke its nose in to disasters and give practical suggestions that go a long way to make chemical plants / operations much safer. The regulatory frame-work saw no major hurdles to scrap/abolish laws like Ergonomic standard, I2P2, or Silica norms. The ISO 45001 looks almost certain to see the light of the day in 2018. In Indian context, 2017 too had been a decent year, except for thermal power plant incident in IV Qtr, which killed 40 workmen. Legislative front was mundane, which is disappointing but not very unexpected given our parliament has the lowest sitting rate of just 70 days in a year. 

So what is 2018 is in store for HSE front from global standpoint as well from Indian overview? My thoughts are as below! I am just crystal gazing based on what I see across in my interactions. 

International:- 

  1. Regulatory framework would be all about RISK Based Approach. collaboration, working on reduce ill health risk, liabilities reduction, would take priority to reduce worker compensation costs. I am beginning to see organisation across continents trying to align to bring conformance framework  on workmen health, injury prevention, Industrial Hygiene, irrespective of local government brining in regulations. This may be more to Cover their Ass in the litigation based “Rainmaker/Ambulance chaser environment” but good thing is it is happening. 
  2. I see HSE funding to corporate etc being allowed to be kept at the same level across. Additional funding is out of question. Managing more with less is the order of the day so professionals need to align themselves to work with bare minimum and implement minimum adequate.
  3. ISO 45001 standard should be out by II QTR 2018. The standard gives an awesome opportunity to organisations to reshape their OHS journey through Risk based approach, Leadership Engagement. The standard helps companies to embrace consultation across to establish a safer workplace.
  4. I am positive that 2018, may mark the beginning of end of Behaviour Based Safety. I was always against BBS in a larger sense. Poor BBS program being used as ONE TRICK PONY, unless established after full maturity of Engineering Excellence, Systems, Process, Procedures, Programs, PPE as well as elimination of barriers like incompetent people, lack of hazard recognition, lack of skilled labor in the work place. Programs that drives on Principle 101, that people are wired to err, mistake, absent-minded.  All behavioural interventions need to work on this premise shall begin to be churned out towards end 2018 or beyond in key sectors like Manufacturing. There is an immense opportunity. 
  5. As BBS shall fade in to sunset, I see from 2019 and beyond, process shall be so designed with First principle,to Err is Human. Mistake proofing, pre job inspection, Last Minute Risk Assessment shall become the way to execute tasks in a safe way without mistake pointing/ fault-finding. Even incident investigation would move away from fault of a person as main remedial measures. Companies from 2019 or so would begin to see accident/incidents as “Mistakes of Management” as a component that requires probing. Interested parties would bring pressure on such approach. Gone are days of blaming people.  
  6. More and more organisations from 2018 and beyond would work for an integrated approach towards bringing safety in line with Quality, Productivity, Inventory, Delivery, Cost. These will form the bedrock. Also such approach shall keep the company employee as prime customer to make quality output happen. Amazing that in 2017, I am typing that this shall be the way, considering this was what we used to call “ELEMENTARY MY DEAR WATSON in 2007”. Visual Management, rapid problem solving, Set up time reduction, Knowledge sharing shall be across all functions not just across production as is the case in most organisation. EHS would work on Balance Score card, Proactive metrics. 
  7. Regulators, Policy makers, NGOs, Corporates shall come to some common understanding given hostile political environment that exist! The Trump, the BREXIT etc would easily hijack their agenda, if minimum common program is not worked. Friendly Enemies (Frenemy) amongst all of the above clan would be the norm, to live and let live. 
  8. Technology in aid of EHS would become common place, use of Apps, Digitization would rule the roost. Many companies could seriously miss the bus if they do not jump in to the bandwagon. 
  9. EHS Due diligence would get more focus, of course, merger acquisitions would hit road block, I see active investors with maverick ideas would be hell-bent on splitting the companies to get their pound of flesh. So there shall be demand for EHS talent pool in split entity.
  10. With a lot of political uncertainty across the globe, Health warnings due to new unknown virus etc, besides unseasonal freakish weather pattern, “BUSINESS Continuity Planning” would get better focus.
  11. Much to my dislike, even by 2018 and beyond, Sustainability, CSR, would continue to dominate organisation reports, thus hoodwink customers, stakeholders, authorities! I don’t see that going to rest in grave in my lifetime! If there is a thing, I loathe it is these stupid elements which have driven away the main principle of valuing people life and property protection from organisation focus and agenda to run business!! 

India:-

  1. Cost pressure are going to be enormous, EHS implementation would be a big challenge. Companies would be caught in conflict between meeting internal norms ( if any) vs pricing. EHS personnel need to really add value to business with integrated approach to problem solving & offering effective but low-cost solutions.
  2. 2018 or perhaps 2019 would be the year when Indian entities would begin seeing value of ISO systems as a business enabler of Risk based approach, aligned strategy of business performance. Knee jerk short-term solutions shall slowly make way with Annual operating plans aligned to Business Risks which cover EHS, Quality, Product life cycle.
  3. Process Safety Management in hazardous manufacturing component of Chemical industries shall take prominence with more and more export oriented entities need to meet the requirements from customer standpoint.
  4. As more pressure mounts for willful violators in social media, some sense of compliance shall be expected. However, the corrupt, inept system of Governance, legislature, political system, would take years if not decades. So forget about clean up of Industries as well as offering safe work environment as well as offering, hygienic workplace shall be very minimum possibility even in coming decade. Pessimistic outlook, but that is the reality for Indian industries in 2018 and beyond.
  5. Road safety initiatives may take some positive side with new motor vehicle act in place. As usual enforcement is the problem. This shall be one brighter aspect to look to in 2018 and beyond. 

Take care, God Bless

Karthik.

10/12/2017

1800 Hrs. 

The Day of the Jackal was Over!

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Having seen implementation of ISO systems over the last 25 years ever since ISO 9001 in 1992, ISO 14001 in 1998, a safety management system with global recognition is the need of the hour. Unfortunately, the world didn’t see Occupational Health and safety the same way as Environment, quality, Energy. While there are many regional standards like OHSAS 18001 /ANSI Z 10 goes a very long way to bridge the requirements, ISO 45001 the occupational standard which was thought off over the last 6-7 years would help Safety standards get its place. The draft standards are released and voting to ratify and release as ISO 45001 Occupational Standard,now looks certain, (Barring a catastrophe) by II QTR 2018.

The new ISO 9001, 14001 standards revised in 2015 has given carte-blanche, that I am beginning to see certifications are withdrawn to companies post  audits. Companies are in mess and new norms are exposing the weakness that have been hiding in plain sight.  So the Day of the Jackal  is over! 

Even though, I am an Environmental Engineer by qualification,I strongly believe as I shaped my career over 33 years, that protecting people’s life and preventing injury and illness at work comes first, PERIOD. Yes,besides focusing on loss prevention to property  of the company matters significantly. “MAKING PROFITS” matter the most and is ultimate! So I see any effort of showcasing Environment, CSR, Sustainability, at the cost of providing a safe workplace is “HOGWASH”. 

So what are the changes we are looking at. I see new standards gives a lot of teeth to auditors to give value add bringing in improvements. Many companies, who had used ISO standards as separate entity in their business system, would find it surprising, that the new standards require an integrated approach to doing business. 

Specific to ISO 45001 as with any ISO management system, it calls for 1) Focused approach 2) People input on what is happening 3) Leadership and Inclusive engagement of all function 4) Customer needs 5) Process approach of Input—>Process—> Measurable outputs. 

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Elementary overview linkage to Annex SL !

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So here is simple guide to implement ISO 45001 when announced, as below, work this, thing should shape up better:-  The new standard,I would assume,would replace OHSAS 18001 or equivalent in 3 years from date of its publication. 

  • audit of system including assessment and assurance!
  • competence of people to carry out tasks safely
  • conformity to norms through compliance/conformance to requirements
  • consultation of all personnel to get one opinion alignment
  • continual improvement as journey of improvement never ends
  • contractor / Labor partner to align to values cohesion as one entity to results
  • corrective action for timely plan to address issues
  • documented information including record keeping
  • effectiveness vs Efficiency (Get effective things done efficiently)
  • hazard for potential harm awareness
  • incident reporting and investigation
  • injury and ill-health avoidance plans execution
  • interested party views beyond wall
  • legal requirements and other requirements to fulfill not lip service 
  • management system of PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) 
  • measurement even by proxy metrics and improve, what gets measured gets done
  • monitoring and course correction by data analysis
  • nonconformity avoidance
  • objective and Targets align to business metrics  
  •  opportunity for improvement, consultation, communication
  •  performance measurement, improvement
  • policy the leadership walk the talk engagement ownership
  •  risk, identification, mitigation 
  • Outsourcing, as required to build competence but responsibility remains cant be washed away! 
  • Performance measurement, evaluation, constant sharpen the saw
  • Participation by all, collective ownership
  • Procedure linkage to risk assessment as a mitigation tool
  • Risk ;the basics of any business management system, here occupational health & safety risks that can impact business! 
  • Top Management, Leadeship is the KEY! 
  • Worker is every one.
  • Workplace keep safe, healthy and productive.

Good luck and God bless

Karthik

3/12/17

1545 Hrs. 

 

Bhopal-A Chemical Hiroshima?No way!

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It was Monday morning, 3rd December 1984, I was getting ready to prepare for my master’s  semester exam scheduled January 1985, (Environmental Engineering) when 7am, All India Radio, English news announced (No TV that time, not so common) that there is an Industrial gas leak at Bhopal the previous night. I didn’t take the news that seriously! By 1pm, the scale and magnitude of disaster unfolded! Thousands of deaths, life changed forever for many! For me personally, Bhopal disaster, with my Environmental Engineering qualifications as the first batch of guys in India, my willingness to move to Northern Part of India from Coimbatore/Karaikudi, it was a god sent opportunity to grab and climb the career ladder. As saying goes” One man’s poison,is another man’s nectar” applies classic to me. I even now wonder without Bhopal happening, I would have been able to have such a smooth sail in the Industrial career!So, 33 years on as a Corporate EHS Professional ( 1990 I qualified as Safety professional, as Safety and Environment goes as a good blend to problem solving and value add) as well as 5 years now as a EHS freelancer, what do I see across in Indian spectrum from EHS standpoint!

Bhopal, Chernobyl, Schweizerhalle all happening within 24 months,shook the Industry and made them retrospect and strive to work for a better performance. What was common across was a “Weak Safety Culture” In fact, Safety culture term was coined after Chernobyl. ( I never believe Safety first -That is Bullshit, we are all here to make profits, PERIOD)

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So since Bhopal,

What has gone well in India from EHS standpoint:-

  1. Tweaking of legislations in 1987 from storage, handling, Annexures in safety from Factory standpoint.Environmental Protection Act and Rules for various aspects of business, emission standards from water, air, waste standpoint. Public Liability act to disperse compensation post a major incident.
  2. Occupier as the ultimate control over affairs and the first Bastard to be behind bars, should things go horribly wrong, no passing the buck. Warren Anderson, in my opinion was stupid,to have to come to India. 
  3. Safety management systems in the form of Process Safety management (OSHA 1910.119)
  4. Process Safety Incidents reporting and learnings from Accidents as easy way to implement corrective actions.
  5. Improvements in process design, Risk Assessment, What could wrong probe, Consequence Analysis with best fit safety instrumentation and possible automation. 
  6. Training and communication to Employees, contractors, public on critical information that can mean life and death in the community. (Do’s and Don’ts)
  7. Emergency Drills practice, practice, practice!! 
  8. Emergence of Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Medicine with degree/diploma courses offered to know and tackle workplace better. Antidotes, notes to doctor to treat all chemical incidents well understood and better practiced.
  9. MSDS —>Material Safety Data more meaningful, action oriented with Sections focused on emergency handling, spill etc.
  10. Communication specialist as profession, What when how who shall communicate? importantly, what not to commuicate, why no mixed messages???? 

What has been Fucked up??? 

  1. Power to Pollution control boards to enforce law, another matter, in a III class III world country like India that is source of corruption and money spinning with officers caught and send to jail! I am told Telangana guys most corrupt!! 
  2. Indian EHS corporates have become powerless/toothless, a position where they sit as fancy designation with preparing charts and reports to their bosses. Ground level if there are major incidents, shit will hit the fan! Business segments, who contribute to bottom line calls the shots and these guys have no clue on operational aspects,especially since post 2008 economic scenario where consolidation/ downsizing is key.
  3. The goal post has moved in the 33 years as I see, from saving lives /loss prevention to “DOG and PONY show on Sustainability/CSR! ( I call CSR- Corrupt (Anti)Social (I)responsibility! I am with Trump to a large extent on these useless aspects!! Even as an Environmental Engineer, I see it as a big joke corporates play, rather than saving lives/ giving decent work place! Right from day one, I never believed that  CSR /Sustainability crap. I have posted enough!! 
  4. Data submissions for emergency scenarios to authorities/ parent companies / Peers  you can poke ten’s of holes. I Wonder data would stand a scrutiny of honest, upright, daring Gen X, millennial Chemical  / Process/Environmental Engineer.
  5.  EIA a key component of Process Safety, Chemicals handled is a Joke. Copy Paste! Don’t believe me, Read this!
  6. One corporate, One global standards which came after Bhopal is slowly eroding away due to cost/business pressure. No longer business put the same focus, they are diluting the norms to let country legal requirements take precedence. In Indian context this is equal to doing “NOTHING”. Who is the Big dad who comes and checks what corporates have done? 

Would it be fair to Compare Bhopal as Chemical Hiroshima? I don’t think so?  Hiroshima was a planned, systematic retaliation by a nation which was provoked and its leader chose to hit back with iron gloves to Pearl Harbour. It is a game changer even in Indian context! Japs were at our door step and our destiny would have changed from Brits to Japs but not for Hiroshima! So comparison are very unfair to Harry S Truman. Doubts still exist even today, 33 years on, as to whether Bhopal was an internal sabotage? 

Can Bhopal ever repeat? Anywhere in the World? Don’t think so if lessons are learnt and implemented! As they say”FOOL ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU; FOOL ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME”

God bless
Regards

Karthik.

2/12/17

1515 Hrs.

 

 

 

 

EHS–> In Insanity??

First of all my apologies for being so quiet for more than 8 weeks!! My hectic business commitments at client sites as well as personal situations to take care have kept me of from posting my thoughts here. I am now taking a break of 10 days from work and will be #BANGALORE, so plan to post some thoughts over next few days! 

So

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I am just stunned and speechless at EHS implementation, especially from manufacturing standpoint as I see as well as I hear from my esteemed EHS consultant friends, the story I hear are all same. I can only think of Albert Einstein quotes above. The situation is same in 95 out of 100 entities !! 

Why I / we feel so!

What leaders and facilities need is Management 101—> Planning—>Coordination–>Communication–>Discussion—>Decision—> Execution…… With Empathy, listening laced in. Alas, in most places, few of these elements are missing or absent due to lack of awareness. 

I will classify them in to following categories and I see these common sense approach to EHS management is missing across wherever I go or when I speak to people. 

The absence of these “7C as we call it, seriously takes the EHS implementation to an Insanity state. What we see is LACK of 

  1. Culture: Challenging status quo, Encouraging Dissent,Questioning attitude.
  2. Committment—->To put business interest first&see every activity as value add.
  3. Communication—-> Visual management, Notice boards, flow of information on progress, Minutes, Training, key messages, etc.
  4. Care—->Empathy, Support for people,basic infrastructure,Work place Hygiene
  5. Compliance—->Get to know legal,Corporate norms. Accept nothing less for sake quickness, profit or boss said so,etc.
  6. Class Excellence—–>Integrated management systems with functional coordinators for Process safety,Change Management,Proactive Maintenance, Consolidated Management systems for QESH, Business Excellence operating systems, all are done in haste with no overview.  
  7. Coaching——> Show to people, handhold them, make their eyes open to best practices, send them across wherever available/access to see the best ……

When it comes to people:- I see a very sad state of poor leadership across !! Leaders across all levels, including EHS folks have gone in to state of Zombie of going with the flow or not challenging status quo or succumbing to pressure. What I/we see now is the absence of what, we saw, or actively involved in 1980s, 90s, besides what our leaders as well exhibited!!

So what is missing:- Insanity exists across due to absence  of following elements and its requirement that makes people/organisation a successful entity. What is missing, absent are:- (I am reproducing the success factors which our leaders showed us for 20 years to make us and our organisation a most succesful/vibrant one. (1990-2010)) 
  1. Consultation/communication:-This needs to be two-way, not one way with no feedback or comment. The best is individual talk or in small groups.
  2. Know your people :- Get to know your people on a personal level. Not just what they do at work. (One on Ones!) 
  3. Get out in the operating area,GEMBA, Be visible.You Can not do #2 without this. You must see and discuss first hand what is going on in the workplace. Being in an office in an ivory tower, all the time does not allow this to happen. People want motivation beyond money! Alas!!! 
  4. Set an expectations and enforce:- people must know that there are expectations and they will be held accountable for results and execution. This is done by formal communications and day-to-day follow-up.
  5. Set the example:- Leaders/ People cannot say one thing and then not enforce or follow themself.
  6. Accountability:- People must know that they are accountable for what they do on the job and there are consequences for not doing a good job.
  7. Coaching /Feedback :-This is a continuous process. Every time leaders have a conversation it is an opportunity to provide some coaching as well as feeback to the team.The best is when the person doesn’t realise that it is taking place. They think it was just a conversation.
  8. Champion Teamwork:-Teams get the most done. However, all teams must have a leader or coordinator. 
  9. Push the decision-making down to where the work is:- People doing the work know the most about the work so they should be making the decisions about it at Ground Zero.
  10. Develop People:- The key to any success, making your people better.
  11. Tie rewards to performance :- The piece that is critical. What gets rewarded, gets done. Rewards must be tied to key business performance metrics. 
  12. Meet target dates:- Deadline is Sacrosanct. This is an absolute. To not meet target dates is showing disrespect for the person to whom you have committed an action.
  13. Establish and follow implementable procedures:- Do as said, said as do. Organisations have procedures and systems in place for a reason. To not follow just increases the potential for a costly mistake.
  14. Listening:- All leaders, must be good listeners. Leaders learn that way and it is an indication that we value what our employees, team members, opinion makers say.
  15. Last but not least, House-keeping:- First impressions are often the most important.

So How this insanity can be tackled at a level above at which it was created:-

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  1. Take advantage of Legal compliance as baseline. Nothing works better than knowing and complying with laws of land. There are so many aspects in it that enables the first step to overcome insane situation. 
  2. Risk based approach to operations and situational mitigation through action plans.
  3. QESH linkage to business excellence through management systems like ISO 9000,14001, 45001 and 51000 for various pillars of operational excellence.
  4. Process safety excellence through PSMS; work the standards they invaluble.
  5. Embrace Management of Change for every aspect of Man, Machine, Material, Method, Mileu, Management.
  6. Setting up operational aspects through predictive maintenance beyond productive maintenance.
  7. Embrace operational excellence —> Standardized work—>Rapid Problem Solving–>Knowledge sharing—> Built in Quality—> Organisation and people development etc.(CourtesyHoneywell)DidyouKnow_HOS_B2C.png
  8. Link performance to behaviours expectations to achieve results. 

Again easily said than done!! It is a long haul, wishing folks the very best.

Regards

Karthik

12/11/2017

2230 Hrs. Bangalore, India.

 

Tony Bucci – Great Guy!

September 11th is an eventful day!

  1. Swamy Vivekananda- Brothers and Sisters speech Chicago.
  2. Subramanya Bharati the revolutionary Tamil poet Death.
  3. Of course, the 9/11 attacks on United States! ( I was at Lahore, Pakistan that day)

It was also a personally a significant day for I met my very good friend and great EHS colleague for the last time at Phoenix, Arizona during my 2011 visit. Tony (Anthony Bucci) who was ailing for sometime had recovered well and took time to meet me at the Arizona Grand Hotel on the afternoon of September 11th, 2011. It was a Sunday, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and so Tony turned up after morning ceremonies, post lunch. As we finished our talk around 3pm, Tony was leaving back home and started walking away good 20 feet towards his car, when I shouted, Tony let us have a picture. He agreed and walked back and the hotel staff of Arizona Grand, clicked the picture. 15 days later during last week of September 2011,Tony passed away at the age of 39.  I still don’t know why I felt we need to take a picture for I have met Tony many times before and every likelihood I would have met him afterwards in my visits to USA!! 

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Tony is a classic case of how EHS professionals should be! A technically sound guy with amazing stamina to deliver training sessions 8 hours non stop taking all the questions, comments from people as required ( I do that now having got inspiration from Tony) as well as very forthright and candid in giving feedback to people on things he saw. Tony was always willing to share any information I reached out when I have to implement special projects across global locations. He had a good 4-5 years head start  in the organisation and I had just entered in 2006to replicate some of the measures in my business locations across the globe as well as see synergy in some common initiatives. He never thought twice about sharing resources at his disposal and was always available for discussions despite 10 hour time difference between us.  When not known or hitting a wall, Tony was always pointing to the direction in his network thus the solution to the problem or a resource is available.

Oh, Yes; The pranks he played on people who did mischief with him were legendary. 

Tony will always be missed. Stay in heaven my friend until we meet.
Karthik

9/11/2001. 1150am ! 

 

 

 

 

 

“Saving Private Ryan & Dunkirk”!Wake up EHS Folks!

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A ‘motley procession of vessels’ rescued 338,226 troops over 10 days #DUNKIRK 

World War II has dished out 100s of Movies and books, both fiction, and non fiction as well as Fiction tuned to real events! Two of such movies may stand out from war rescue point of view !! 1) Saving Private Ryan -1998 and about 20 years later, 2) Dunkirk. I am pretty sure, Dunkirk shall achieve the same level of accolades as SPR did. So much so that I am booking tickets for the show Sunday with my son! This would be my Seventh movie or so in 28 years!!! ( I am yet to completely watch, Saving Private Ryan!!!!!! On September 11,2001, at Lahore, Pakistan, 30 minutes in to movie in my hotel room video, 1715 Pakistan time, my YAHOO Messenger on computer,flashed, “AMERICA IS UNDER ATTACK”)

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So what war movies can teach us /show us in our day-to-day life as EHS professionals! I am penning my thoughts! Would look to your comments/inputs!

  1. Leaders never shy of taking responsibility and own up to themselves for results:- Several situations at work or in battle the leadership capabilities alone largely determines the success of a mission. Leadership is all about intelligent risk taking with visualisation of what others can’t see. Leaders never shy away from owning the responsibility mostly for failures and always pass success to the team mates. EHS folks can do better if they inherit these characteristics. They can align these values to organisation behaviour model to achieve results. Leadership is also about being available for their people. Listen, Learn, LEAD!!! 

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  2. Plans may be worthless when rubber hits the road, but still have a plan! So work the plans for EHS implementation through legal compliance, Risk Assessment, inputs feedback from opinion makers that set the objectives and targets. The business situation may change in these uncertain economic, social times thus potential rendering plans null & void or useless ! But having a plan can help steer EHS performance through rough/troubled times with suitable tweaking or rewriting a plan. Remember, altering a plan is not a sign of failure but aligning to new ground business realities. Having a plan aligned to business /EHS purpose helps organisation to weather out rough times as was case during Economic depression of 2008-2010. Companies that had better business /EHS Plan were able to recover quickly than others for business as usual.
  3. Keep doing your job, management is never sexy, as is in battle! EHS professionals need to realise that we are in to business of protecting (Wo)Men, Material, Machine, Mileu. The job is to do routine, non sexy things right only stupid people do the same mistake twice. Good management is all about doing things right, effectively. So just go about doing the job establishing process, program, procedures, protocol, protection. Better results will follow automatically. AAEAAQAAAAAAAANFAAAAJDhmM2U1MDAyLTBjOTAtNGRjNi1hN2EwLWY5MDc1NjE1MTEwOQ
  4. Treat people with Dignity, even in worst of war conditions the dead in battlefield are treated with dignity by enemies. So in civil life where death is not the price to pay in everything we do, it goes without saying that people who are your peers or people down the chain needs to be treated with dignity. Show respect to the person, to their views/opinion. No thought said is irrelevant, immaterial. Show active listening. Speak to them rather than speak at them. EHS professionals cant be at every place of operations to know the hidden issues, so interacting with people in a dignified way goes a long way to pull in information. 

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  5. Ordinary people matter:- As seen in many war events, it is an ordinary people who are nameless, faceless who provide vital support and momentum to army in its march. EHS professionals in their work to keep incidents at bay as well as implement loss prevention strategy needs inputs from countless ordinary people who carry out routine tasks. These ordinary people have their ear to the ground to predict events based on a pattern that may not be even in grasp of seasoned managers/ leaders. Keep up relationship power to get information from ordinary people by being visible at work front.

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  6. Survival is an art and science, learn and master it! As in war no victory is worth if one pays the ultimate sacrifice of laying his life! War is all about taking other’s lives! In EHS, folks need to be very clear that danger is out there and it is truth. So work a survival plans in terms of  technical capability, network connect with fellow professionals, ample trust credits to ask for favours, Be good to people with “ARK” (Act of Random Kindness) it all adds up and matters when chips are down…… 
  7. You will always live to fight another day & Pick your battle carefully. Some times as in war you may be beleaguered by defeats and death around! It may look a hopeless cause, sometimes survival itself bring accolades as was case in Dunkirk. Also in Saving private Ryan it is all about survival and cut your loses. EHS professionals may face such road blocks in terms of poor leadership, lack of plans, poor execution of EHS concepts. It may appear that folks are getting no where! Never give up! Be the last man standing. All it takes one flash of event to change things! more so in these days of changes that occur in rapid pace. Pick up your efforts with tools like Risk Assessment, Process management, Training, Communication, Engineering excellence to address EHS issues. It makes huge difference to know beforehand. A wise EHS professional succeeds by strength of the things he can do,knowledge of things she can’t do and is wise enough to the difference between the two. images (1)

Take it easy, take care, stay safe, God Bless!

Karthik

12/8/17 1515 Hrs

Bangalore. 

 

 

 

Occupational Hazard exposure!! Dad!!!

Over the last 6-8 weeks, I am kind of busy with a consulting assignments which is taking me away from Bangalore almost 20-25 days away including travel time!! So my blog post would be erratic!! Please pardon me over next few months! 

However, what is occupying mind in my free time is the Cancer that has recurred and fast spread of Secondaries on Dad over the past 4 weeks. He was operated for removal of left Kidney in 2015 ( Dad is now 80) having diagnosed with Renal Carcinoma. Dad, a Ph.D,worked as a Scientist,carrying out his research on Electrochemistry and specialisation in Anti Corrosion treatment with corrosion inhibhitors. The patents and research papers he published, involved quiet a lot of handling and exposure of Amines and its derivatives in his tenure between 1961-1999! My assumption is that lack of data on health hazard then as well as inadequate Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) besides non standard field condition of exposure like bridge construction etc would have been the ideal scenario of exposure to cause harm. The chronic effort after 15+ years of retirement goes to show how latent these substances reside in body and attacks when body resistance starts to weaken.

What is sad is few of dad’s colleagues have passed away due to cancer at various organs (Tongue, Lung, Bone, Throat)! I wonder whether we could have done anything when alarm went off say a decade back when the news of death started coming in!! I guess not?? 

This goes to show how to be more protective about one’s health on exposure to chemical substances. Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Medicine plays a key part to provide a safe working place. I am glad, over the last 10+ years the work place analysis, technology for sampling, Sophisticated instruments to detect even low concentration  of contaminants as well as technology to provide a clean workplace with local exhausts, personal protective equipment as well as substitution of chemicals have been in place. I wish organisations, who really value employee’s health and well-being, take every effort to implement such measures of providing proactive clean work space. It is their obligation and no effort is considered less in fulfilling these requirements.

I am now doing every effort to make his end game painless and peaceful, (Doctors have ruled out chemotherapy as he is too fragile,more so secondaries are tough to predict as to where it shall spread) !! Irony is that as I was telling my wife this morning over phone call, I am in midst of a very tight business engagement which is keeping me away from attending to him physically at my home town, Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu, after all these years of me being busy, just 8-10 days of assignments, the very idea of me switching to consultancy in 2012, to spend quality time with family, thus escaping the wretched corporate life of 27 years!! 

Man Proposes, God Disposes!

Take care, Stay Safe.
Regards

Karthik

6th Aug 2017, 1020am, Hyderabad Rural. 

Update 17th AUG 1900 Hrs:- Father passed away, 15th AUG 2017, 1930 Hrs at my Hometown, Karaikudi, TN. The end was swift, painless with dear and near around him. 

dad 8