In this episode, Bjørn is guested by Shaun Carvalho, Vice President - Safety, Shawmut Design and Construction.
Shaun shares his perspectives on the importance of continued learning and how he believes that solving why people get hurt is one of the ultimate puzzles to solve in general. Moreover, he comments on the fact that OSHA came about 50 years ago in the States and for the first 25 to 30 years showed some significant improvements in the workplace, but since the turn of the century, we've simply seen a relative plateau and roughly the same number of people are getting hurt every year. And we should not accept that the same number of workplace hazards, incidents, and - worst - fatalities occur.
As Shaun nicely puts it: learning how to positively impact and help people is an amazing opportunity, and we should strive and work to get ahead of the next bad accident every single day. He believes that we need more HSE professionals that don’t wear an HSE hat, and instead, we need field leadership and crew leaders to feel responsible for the individuals that work for them. If we can get HSE professionals really bought into the individuals on site’s safety we can start to turn the titles a bit more, and this will have a tremendous effect! People should feel confident, safe, secure and supported to make the right decisions when they walk into work, as it’s so very important for us to feel “the right way” in order to perform our best. The job site simply has to be welcoming. Wise words from Shaun!
Furthermore, from Shaun’s perspective, the challenge for many HSE professionals currently is whether they can get good data out of people. You can have the best and most robust safety software that exists, but if the individuals on the work site don’t know how to interact with it or it’s too complex for them, then it’s simply not worth it! We should instead work to find the approach or software that works for the individual organisation and to make sure that it isn’t disruptive for the workers.
Lastly, Shaun emphasizes the importance of creating a nice and strong foundation of learning and skill sets. Then we’ll, as HSE professionals, after some years of training be able to have instant recall instead of having to go back to the books. Simply because we learned it the right way. That will make us better and more skilled HSE professionals, and we’ll be able to react and truly come across as that subject matter expert. This will also make people look towards us - instead of fearing us - for support and expertise.
Listen to the episode to have these quotes elaborated on or gain other new inspiring insights!