Observational Safety in the era of Social Media



I was reading up on the usual array of accidents, incidents and fines on the www.hse.gov.uk website when I noticed this interesting piece.
IQ Roofing Solutions were fined for a now all too normal breach of the Work at Height Regulation but this incident had an interesting new twist to it. The workers had commenced work on the roof of a 2 storey house using a power hose to clear off moss and debris. The work was clearly very dangerous and the workers lives were at risk. Despite this obvious risk, the Managing Director of the company had visited the site in the morning and surveyed the work. He clearly thought that this kind of dangerous work practice was acceptable. Workers need to watch out for these kind of bosses. Speak up!!
The twist in this piece is that the report to the HSE was made by a member of the public sending an image from their camera phone. This unnamed member of the public may have saved the lives of the workers on the roof. Let’s not forget that 25 people died last year in similar accidents in the UK. Well done to this unnamed but brave whistle-blower.
IQ Roofing Solutions are no more, now liquidated but the story has a lesson for us all.
Social Media, the camera phone and the ubiquitous nature of technology mean that there are eyes everywhere which is great for worker safety, and the end for bad companies and bad employers. We all now hold the power to capture an unsafe act as it is carried out, and the internet gives us the power to report this and make a difference.
What’s the future going to be like when everybody is watching out for everybody else? Observational safety, but on a huge scale.
I think is going to make a very big difference to safety and companies approach to this very important area. Fines will no doubt be issued left, right and centre and this should save lives and make a difference.
At the centre of all this, companies and their management need IT system to interpret and act on all of this new data that can come in from workers, customers, and now members of the public. Are you ready for this? EMEX is……

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