When a worker gets injured on the job, the tendency in many organizations is to blame him or her and to solve the problem by changing the worker through retraining or even reprimand. Senior-level leaders, in particular, may believe that implementing the behavioral-based safety initiatives recommended by the Safety Department is the most effective approach to workplace safety.
Most senior leaders have not considered the organizational and systems factors that sometimes increase the likelihood of workers making mistakes or that make work so physically difficult that injuries are inevitable. In fact, the decisions, policies, processes and system designs that these leaders have put in place may have created a work environment or culture in which workers are going to get hurt.
About The Film
Rock Quarry is a short, 12-minute film that tells a story of Anne Carson, CEO of Dolan Food Distribution, who begins to take a more direct interest in safety because of a personal situation involving her son Conner. Connor has decided to forego starting college and instead has taken a job at the “Howard Street Rock Quarry”. In talking to her son about his first day at work, she gets the sense that the culture at the quarry is to look out for yourself. Her son comments that the safety orientation was three things: “…watch the safety video, wear your PPE, and watch your butt, cause if anything happens, they will blame you.” Thinking that this job is far too dangerous, she investigates the hazards that her son may encounter. This leads Anne to discover that her own company has had repeated injury problems and that these problems have been influenced by financial decisions she has made.
Once Anne understands her role in possibly creating ongoing safety problems, she decides to become directly involved in finding out what can be done to resolve them. After looking at the tasks herself and talking with a group of workers, Anne recognizes that even though the problems have been reported and even investigated, nothing has been done to correct them. Anne decides to involve and engage workers in identifying other problems and suggesting solutions to address design, layout and methods from a worker’s perspective.