March 2022

Moni Hogg

Safety Differently Specialist

Anecdotally, I’ve been hearing of organisations experiencing more incidents than usual. That’s no surprise when everyone’s stretched with Omicron.

This short article gives some ideas on handling this effectively going forward. Safety Differently/Safety II offers us new approaches, so what would the New View offer us?

What is the Problem?

As we know, our teams across the country are masters at handling variability and adapting to the conditions they face.

While the focus is on managing Covid risk, the question also needs to be: what do our teams need to enhance capacities and support their ability to deal with demands?

Bear in mind, leadership are making decisions without necessarily having all the information at hand. Especially at times like this when change is constant.

Here’s a great graphic which suggests how much intelligence leadership may be getting.

An approach to take

How do we deal with this then? The key, as a Safety Lead, is to stay connected to the team and gather intelligence.

Rather than focusing on risk assessment, focus instead on assessing resilience. This requires a curious approach. Ask the question: "What is helping and hindering safe and successful work at the moment?" The team will competently answer this question and point out bottlenecks and issues.

To keep it agile, join in on existing planning meetings, toolbox talks, or just pick up the phone.

This diagram shows areas to focus on:

A team I’m working with is using this approach and they found there are some front line issues with prioritisation of resource.

They have these issues normally, but it’s exacerbated by the current situation. Dealing with it proactively can solve everyone time and headaches in the long run.

All the best as you navigate the coming months…


Acknowledgement of graphics
1. Sidney Yoshida's "Iceberg of Ignorance" (1989) reimagined by Corporate Rebels
2. "Curiosity universally applied" by Art of Work