7 Golden Rules

Improving the health, safety and wellbeing in your organisation is easier said than done. Right? How can it be kept simple and straightforward? How can you develop a culture that is proactive in occupational safety and health?

The International Social Security Organisation (ISSA) is campaigning for Vision Zero for safety, health and wellbeing at work says there is a practical answer.

So, let’s take a look at the 7 Golden Rules.

  1. Take Leadership – demonstrate commitment by having visible competent leadership

  2. Identify Hazards – control risks. Evaluate risk management and learning from unplanned events.

  3. Define Targets – develop programmes. Do you have workplace and job induction? If you have targeted programmes are you evaluating them?

  4. Ensure a safe & healthy system – be well organised. Pre-work briefings. Planning and organisation of work.

  5. Ensure safety & health in machines, equipment & workplaces. Innovation and change. Procurement.

  6. Improve qualifications – develop competence. Initial training. Refresher training.

  7. Invest in people – motivate by participation. Listen to suggestions for improvement and recognise the good ones by rewarding them.

For each of these rules, two proactive leading indicators(PLIs) were developed. A guide explaining the use of the PLIs can be found here. All of the 14 indicators will help you identify opportunities for improvement for safety, health and wellbeing.

Proactive leading indicator/key activity checklist

Health Safety Wellbeing Total
1.1 Do leaders visibly demonstrate their commitment to HSW in their work processes and behaviour?
1.2 Are new leaders selected based on their intrinsic motivation for or proven record in HSW?
2.1 Are HSW risk-reduction measures evaluated?
2.2 Are reported unplanned HSW events followed up by leaders for investigation, HSW learning/improvement, and feedback to those directly involved?
3.1 Are H, S and W an integrated part of induction processes?
3.2 Are targeted programmes and their HSW improvement goals evaluated?
4.1 Are H, S and W an integrated part of discussions in pre-work meetings?
4.2 Is the organisation systematically considering H, S and W when planning and organising work?
5.1 Are technological or organisational innovations used to reduce HSW hazards and risks in the design stage?
5.2 Is the promotion of HSW included in procurement processes?
6.1. Are H, S and W covered in initial training?
6.2 Are H, S and W covered in refresher training?
7.1 Are worker suggestions for improving HSW followed-up adequately?
7.2 Are workers given recognition for excellent HSW performance?
 YES total

In short, there are 3 options for using PLIs. For example, option one, the Yes/No Checklist, provides you with an easy way to get insight into the proactive activities it performs (or not). This is useful for small and medium-sized companies. It can also be used in larger organisations too within different departments. Why not try it now to explore possibilities for improvement?

It may be helpful to have people in different areas and positions (managers, supervisors, line staff) of the company use the checklist. When people come up with different answers, then meaningful conversations can be held. For every ‘No’ on the checklist, this will give you an opening to make an improvement.

Let’s say the ‘Yes’ score is higher for health and wellbeing is higher than safety. Well, the organisation experience with improving health and wellbeing can be used to improve safety in a similar way.

A scientific paper that focuses on current thinking for ISSA was published in Safety Science.

Invest in the training and skills of your employees, and make sure that they have the required knowledge for their workplace. The workplace is constantly changing. In light of this, the skills and knowledge of your workers must be refreshed regularly.

Now, more than ever, providing training and continuing education is a must, while leadership and management need to be learned too!!!!

So, how do things look in your enterprise?

Email us: info@bridgetrainingservices.ie


Daily Safety Briefings – A Symbol of Reliability.

A daily safety briefing is one of the characteristics of dependable organisations.  These daily gatherings or huddles give the company frontline staff and its leadership a way of keeping up their safety awareness.

Keep your briefings short and to the point. Their purpose is to share issues that have recently occurred and usually within the last 24 hours. They are to highlight and anticipate potential issues.  It’s the chance to discuss previously mentioned issues including the steps that are being taken to resolve them.

Briefings are used in many industries and are used to address the 5 key principles of high reliability  (Weick & Sutcliffe*)

  • The opportunity to share unexpected events (preoccupation with failure).

  • Providing multiple perspectives & levels of experience in addressing issues (reluctance to simplify.)

  • Continual awareness of the stress levels within the organisation (sensitivity to operations)

  • Quickly addressing the issues that are brought up (commitment to resilience)

  • Frontline staff frequently have a good sense of what needs to be done but don’t always have the resources to achieve the remedy (deference to expertise)

What are the benefits of Safety Briefings?

There are a number of benefits to having daily safety briefings or huddles. This includes both at organisational level and at departmental level. This allows the leadership in the company to show their commitment to safety.

At organisation level, these daily safety briefings are valuable in:

  • Identifying close calls (near misses)

  • Identifying vulnerabilities and hazardous conditions.

  • Improving customer and employee safety.

  • Creating vigilant teams

  • Improving teamwork.

  • Alerting team members to issues, such as equipment failures.

  • Making others aware of possible issues e.g. slips/trips/falls.

^These briefings must be carried out with consistency. Departmental briefings can be a great way to channel important information up and down the chain of command.

Use these daily briefings to get to know your organisation. Improve your safety culture by creating greater awareness. Promote real-time identification and reporting of safety issues and concerns by committing to running these briefings.

  • Determine who will be involved: A representative from both operational and administrative (whatever departments you have) areas should be present.

  • Establish a timeframe: Set a fixed time and stick with it. Start with Monday to Friday. If you are a daily operation work up to include the weekend. Safety doesn’t work business hours and neither do incidents.

  • Decide the leader: Adopt a routine that has your leaders running these briefings. Take turns with the senior people in each department e.g. Duty Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders.

  • Identify how people will take part: Do you congregate in a specific area, do you have your people “dial in” to a call? Maybe you do both. Make it easy to attend.

  • Define what will be shared: Develop a guideline to structure the briefing and modify as you need to make it more efficient. This will give order for reporting. The person leading the briefing can bring and keep the focus on what needs to be addressed. This is not a platform for other company issues.

    • Review the previous day

      • Consider safety issues, injuries, near misses, slips/trips/falls, etc.

    • Look forward in the day

      • Examine anything that could have potential issues – new procedures, downtime of systems, equipment issues, start-up or ongoing works, etc.

      • Ongoing concerns – equipment in maintenance, weather issues, staffing levels

      • Discuss previously reported issues – give a progress update.

    • Follow Up: When the leadership within the organisation fails to follow up on issues that have been raised trust will be lost and the briefings will become ineffective. So, assign a person who will take responsibility for following up on an issue and report to the briefing leader or manager on its progress. By being able to report on these follow-ups in the briefings, it will demonstrate that there is a commitment to safety within the organisation.

    • COMMIT: Daily briefings won’t bring instant success. Persistence and consistency will play a crucial part in this. Understand that your people need time to adjust and may find it overwhelming.  Above all, be patient.


It WILL pay off.

5 FREE Safety Briefings

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*Resource: Weick KE, Sutcliffe KM. Managing the Unexpected, 2nd Ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007

^The Joint Commission

Cyber Security

The essential function of any organisation is underpinned and protected by effective cybersecurity. Whatever the size of the organisation or the sector in which it operates, it’s vital that all staff regardless of seniority understand how they may be susceptible to a cyberattack or data breach and the steps they can take to ensure everyone stays safe online. While the primary responsibility for technically securing IT systems and associated technology lies with your organisation, you as an individual have a crucial role to play. This short video will explain why cyber-attacks happen. A great deal of this advice will also apply to IT systems and devices in your home.

Cyberattacks can be carried out by a whole range of individuals and groups.  They will target you as an individual as a way of getting into your organisation’s IT networks or systems

Cyber threat actors is a term used to describe any individual or group that creates incidents that could have a negative impact on any aspect of an organisation’s security. They could for instance want to steal sensitive data to sell it or block access to your IT systems and demand ransoms to let you back in.  Cyberattacks can also be funded directed or sponsored by foreign governments who want to access extremely sensitive or valuable information to give themselves a political or strategic advantage.  This information could be about your organisation or its people or could relate to third parties such as customers or suppliers.

Hackers are individuals with a wide variety of motivations they may want to test their skills or cause disruption for the sake of it or, for financial gain. For the most part, political activists are motivated by political or ideological reasons. They may for example want to access sensitive information to discredit or expose you or your organisation in some way. This type of cyber-attack is more likely if your organisation operates in an industry that experiences political activism or contains groups that adopt an aggressive approach to your country.

Terrorist organisations conduct cyber-attacks because they want to cause harm and destruction while spreading propaganda or for financial gain to fund their activities.  Cyber-attacks can also come from inside your organisation.  Disgruntled staff with access to data or IT networks can for example steal information to sell to competitors.  And finally, you should be aware of another area that can generate problems, but in these cases, there is absolutely no malicious intent. This group is negligent employees.  Data breaches or situations that lead to cyberattacks can be caused by employee negligence where for example someone stores information on a non-approved, insecure system or email confidential or personal data to the wrong people. We all have a part to play in being careful and managing the data we create and process on a day-to-day basis.

The National Cyber Security Centre of Ireland (NCSC) engages in a comprehensive set of tasks around cyber security, with a primary focus on securing Government networks and securing Critical National Infrastructure. It encompasses the State’s National/Governmental Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE).

To learn more about cybersecurity please click the link below for a free trial.

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Ergonomics can be done with a simple checklist.

What do you think ergonomics are?

Sitting properly, supportive chairs? If one or both of these were your answers, you’d be right but it doesn’t end there. You may even have learned about how to place your arms, position your monitor, and ensuring your feet are flat on the floor. This is all very important too, but that doesn’t mean it ends there. Simply downloading a checklist from the internet doesn’t mean you’re going to solve all your problems. You may even end up creating more harm and recommending/buying unnecessary ergonomic equipment because of a downloaded checklist. Simply jumping into ergonomic assessments can be detrimental to not only yourself but to your employees or colleagues.

There is a misconception that we can all easily search the internet when recommending equipment. But, do you know what you’re really looking for? Maybe you do know the reason why someone is experiencing discomfort but have you done the research to know what solutions are out there. Does the person who’s experiencing the discomfort know the reason why? Creating awareness on the set up of a person’s workstation is just as important, actually, I will go as far as saying educating people on ergonomics awareness should be number one on any checklist. It isn’t just about telling someone how to sit properly on the chair.

It’s important for all employees to learn and see the value of ergonomics. The benefits of practicing good ergonomics include reduction in upper limb disorders, fatigue, and eye strain. But to do that, both employers and employees need to take their responsibilities seriously and work together for the benefit of everyone. Checklists are great, they can help us remember what we need to do but, when you combine the checklist with training, following good technique, and developing good habits it will help even more.

About the author: Gina has a wealth of training experience and operations management acumen accrued during a career spanning over 25 years in roles such as administration, customer service management, and training in the heavily regulated aviation industry. She believes that learning should not be a ‘tick the box’ exercise for people. She is experienced in knowing the importance of ensuring companies become & remain compliant in accordance with national legislation as well as industry best practice.
She can identify with other small businesses as she is a local independent operator, who wants to look after local businesses also. She understands the challenges of keeping compliant while trying to operate a business. With her aviation background, she understands CRM and change management and the importance of training to bring about that effect.
As a member of the Irish Institute of Training and Development and NISO, Gina believes in keeping in line with best practices and the latest developments in the training sector.

Workplace Fatalities Increased by 13% in 2020

HSA publishes its Annual Review of Workplace Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities

The HSA published its Annual Review today and out of the 53 work-related fatalities last year just under 53% were self-employed. That’s a total of 28 people. That’s more than half of the people that lost their lives. 12 people who were employees and 13 non-workers also paid the ultimate price.

Of the people who died last year, 18 of those were working in agriculture, forestry & fishing, 7 were in construction, 2 in wholesale & retail with 1 in accommodation
& food service.

300,000 people are self-employed in Ireland and most of them work alone but still must be trained on all aspects of safety that are relevant for their job. They have to juggle everything from doing the job to running the business itself and because of that even though they consider health & safety important, it may not seem as urgent. Self-employed people ultimately have the most to lose if they end up in an incident or develop a serious illness.

In 2020, the most common causes of fatal accidents were the loss of control of means of transport (16 people), fall from height (7 people), fall of an object from above (6 people), and entering a dangerous area (6 people).

The CEO of the HSA, Dr. Sharon McGuinnes said, “Unfortunately, we have seen work-related fatalities happening to victims from all age groups. Of the 13 non-workers to die in work-related fatalities in 2020, five were aged under 18 years old. This drives home the need for appropriate procedures to be put in place to protect everyone in the workplace be they employees, customers, or visitors. Proper risk assessments and health & safety considerations must be implemented in all workplaces to ensure everyone’s safety. No job is worth loss of life, injury, or illness.”

For more information on the 2020 HSA Review please click here