Discussing Workplace Safety with Eric Glass
Today we are honored to have Eric Glass as our featured guest to discuss workplace safety. Eric currently is a Senior EHS Advisor at UL Workplace Health and Safety. In addition, Eric is an EHS Professional, Public Speaker and is very experienced in Risk Management and Safety. I met Eric on a Linkedin Group called, EHSQ Elite. EHSQ Elite which is operated by Pieter Jan Bots, is one of the top safety groups on LinkedIn. Eric plays an essential role within the group and provides an abundance of great information related to safety.
In our interview, Eric provides excellent tips that every safety manager should know when it comes to safety training. Eric also provides valuable information about UL Workplace Health and Safety and how to help keep your employees safe!
What suggestions can you provide to a safety manager to motivate and excite employees when it comes to safety training?
Eric Glass – No human-being will ever be“excited” about training if 1) it is not an exciting subject and/or 2) it serves no purpose or benefits them during their day-to-day job duties.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE use safety training as a punitive action. In essence, you are associating training with something negative. I commonly see organizations do this and they wonder why their safety culture is negative.
What is your recommendation to how often a safety manager should hold safety meetings for training employees?
Eric Glass – If you typically hold safety meetings to regurgitate technical knowledge and regulations, you have already lost the battle. Sure, technical understanding and regulations are important, but most safety professionals make the mistake of believing that is enough. Wrong!
Connect with the audience. Use real life examples. Ask trainees to share their “real life” experiences. The more the employees feel part of the process, the more they will contribute. And contribution leads to a personal connection with the training. Good things happen after that.
It is also perfectly acceptable to allow the employees to be the instructor and the safety professional sit back and learn something to make them better at their job. After all, the real experts are right in front of you and can teach you more about exposures, present conditions and consequences than a check-box audit or inspection form. In fact, you might even uncover some things that your processes could not uncover.
And the delivery! Most important. No one likes listening to a “know it all” or boring speaker. Show some passion! Be alive! The subject matter usually is boring enough; don’t compound it.
How can UL Workplace Health & Safety help improve other businesses Safety Training programs to help keep their employees safe?
Eric Glass – To understand that, it is important to know how our organization came into existence. In 1998, Thompson Machinery endured a tragic incident when one of its employees was killed in an on-the-job accident. Although the company had long been dedicated to maintaining a safety-conscious culture, management felt determined to do more. Additionally, the company sought a means to systematically track and report government and other corporate mandated training. As part of management’s commitment to a company-wide safety initiative, PureSafety was born.
In 2011, PureSafety joined Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a trusted name in safety for more than 100-years, to form UL Workplace Health and Safety. UL’s mission was not only to continue their efforts in keeping consumers of products safe, but also protect the employees that make those products.
ULWHS continues to provide health and safety eLearning training topics to increase employee awareness on various subjects. In addition, we provide safety and health management software to assist our clients with obtaining a true, leading indicator-based approach to their health and safety programs. Armed with over 75 years of collective knowledge, our EHS Advisory Services offers consulting services to help organizations make the transition to a leading indicator based health and safety program. In addition, we have the capabilities to perform more traditional EHS services such as JHA/JSAs, OSHA 10/30 Onsite Instruction, Risk Assessments and training matrices development.
To add, we DO NOT advocate eLearning to be the only solution, or to replace instructor-led training. We believe by using a blended approach, organizations can effectively use both to meet their objectives.
Can you tell us how UL Workplace Health & Safety has made in impact in your professional life?
Eric Glass – Each and every day, I am amazed at the knowledge that surrounds me and the dedication of each employee to assist clients with creating, providing, maintaining and improving safe and healthy workplace. It is very rewarding to be part of our EHS Advisory Services team and collaborating with others to determine the best solutions to help our clients. Before coming to ULWHS, I was a “silo-ed” safety professional; knowing only what I have been directly involved in. Now, I am able to not only use my real life experiences, but also the experiences of others on my team to become better at what I do.
I approach every day as a new opportunity to become better at my job. My “pursuit of excellence” is not possible without my clients. Our profession is filled with “teachers” and I learn something new every day.
The one thing that I have learned since being here is that things change and if you don’t change with them, you quickly become obsolete. What worked yesterday might not work today. I think that is some advice all safety professionals should take. Even though they might have had success doing something a certain way for years, there are different (and sometimes better) ways to accomplish these same goals. Operations change, exposures change, people change; so too should safety and health efforts.
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