Crawl, Walk, Run Approach to Safety

Today we are talking about the crawl, walk, run approach to safety and comparing it to what we call the all or nothing approach to safety.

We have heard from a lot of companies that they want to get all their safety 'sorted' before they start using safety software or start getting their staff involved in safety.
They want to get it all perfect so they don't have to worry about it again. The issue here is that workplaces change, people change and people make mistakes. Unfortunately safety isn't something that stays the same.

That's why a crawl, walk, run approach is far more effective as safety becomes apart of the work, and you actually get stuff done.

Over to Zane and Adelaide

All or Nothing vs Crawl, Walk, Run

All or Nothing
An all or nothing approach to safety basically sucks. Its a huge time commitment which might make some very slow change. Worst of all it separates safety from the work we do. So once the safety stuff is done we can then get on with doing the actual work. How does that make sense?

It also means that safety is viewed as one big thing so if something goes wrong then the whole thing gets thrown out and its start again. People get so focused and obsessed with getting safety perfect or done and out of the way that people actually aren't safe and you end up with silly rules that don't work. So even if you do go all out and do this, you will likely end up with nothing.

Crawl Walk Run
A crawl, walk, run approach is the complete opposite. Its taking a long term approach in working safely. But what does that mean? Well its about splitting everything up into small tasks(you don't need to know what all the tasks are to start) and doing 5 at a time, or 3 at a time or even just 1 at a time.

  • Start Crawling doing basic things like:
    • Get some software (PeopleSafe) to help manage and keep info in the one place
    • Record your staff's details and skills
    • Start recording what the risks are in your workplace
  • Start Walking by doing things like:
    • Get staff involved by giving them a login to the software (Use PeopleSafe)
    • Start creating plans to make the work less risky
    • Start asking if they way you do things could be safer(but still practical)
  • Then eventually Run by doing things like: 
    • Review accidents that happen and stop them from happening again
    • Know the skills needed for each job and check if your staff have them
    • Talk with other businesses to share ideas and help each other out with safety

This process helps safety become apart of the work you do, rather than something separate. Your staff get involved in safety and most of all they start to actually be safe and you start to see results straight away.

What about things being perfect? Well it won't ever be perfect, that goes for both approaches. But with crawl, walk, run you have an attitude of improving, you are always getting better and safer, you are actually doing something, which is more than what the all or nothing approach will give you.

So, All or Nothing or Crawl, Walk, Run? I think its pretty obvious. So start crawling, because doing something is better than nothing.

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Hello and welcome to another Workshop Wednesday.

Cause it's Wednesday, we're workshopping.

Excellent. So today we're talking about crawl, walk, run versus an all-or-nothing approach to health and safety.

It's a jolly good idea, because it's really knacking me off, these people with the all-or-nothing approach, quite frankly.

So we hear from lots of small businesses about what they want to do about health and safety. But for some reason, we're having an awful lot of people coming up to us with an all-or-nothing approach.

They really are. And it really is a problem.
Now, I've got a couple of reasons it's a problem. Because the all-or-nothing approach to safety is a huge time commitment, high cost, and it's really slow to change. Businesses grind to a halt
while safety is being done. They do their safety, then they go back to work, which is crackers. If one thing goes wrong, sometimes the whole lot gets thrown out, so they don't do safety. 

And people get hung up on everything being just perfect. And it never will be. I'm sorry.

Got it. So what about the crawl, walk, run? Why is that a better approach?

Well, the reason that's better is because you commit to long-term change. You commit to going, well, we're going to do safety over the long term, even if things go wrong. You can take staff with you. You're not just beating them with the safety stick. And you'll see results straight away, because you're actually doing stuff. You're taking action.

Oh, we'll make this small change. Oh, we'll make this next small change. And you'll never need to get stuck on one thing, because you have decided from the outset that it's not intended to be perfect. Because we just aren't.

Right. So how does PeopleSafe make this whole crawl, walk, run thing real? 

Well, by crawling, we are helping make sure that you know your staff and their skills, by at least recording what the risks are. We have this cool process called Tell Your Story. Read about it more there on the website.

Having one place to put everything about safety is a jolly good way to start crawling, because when something goes wrong, you crawl on back to the one place, and it's all there for you.

Great. Walk.

We're going to walk by creating plans to make sure the workplace is less risky by getting staff involved, by giving them a login, by giving them the Interweb machine and tell their story. And by starting to talk about ways that you actually do safety right now, and how you
can improve those. Maybe go, oh, we're a bit crap here.

Excellent. So now, run.

OK. Well, run, because we're running out of time.
Talk to other businesses that you work with about safety, great idea. Have a jibber-jabber yibber-yabber. Review the accident that happened and work out what caused them. And you know what? Work out how to stop them happening again. And last but not least, set up the skills required for each job that you're doing. And make sure that the people have got those skills.


That's easy. Crawl.


And then run.