Is Discipline the Secret to Safety?

Sponsored by

By: Bill Dampf, C.S.P., Let’s Talk Success Presentations

Having over 35 years as a safety professional, I am constantly bombarded by discussions around how to manage workforce performance around safety and whether discipline should be administered when safety rules are violated?

The answer is pretty simple, and I don’t think that anyone will disagree that when performance falls below the expected standard, steps must be taken to improve that level of performance. The real question is, what are the right steps to take?

I have seen it all in my career. There are “Rules to Live By” where required levels of discipline are administered when certain rules are violated. There is positive discipline, (the kinder and gentler approach), and in some companies, disciplinary panels are formed in an attempt to ensure fairness.

Managing performance is a critical component of any successful organization. But I think the real dilemma is our periodic failure to manage our own personal performance. In essence, what degree of self-discipline do we exercise upon ourselves?

Did you know in America we spend over $30 billion a year on diet products? That is more money than the gross domestic product for many nations across the globe. I don’t believe the formula for losing weight is all that difficult to understand. You just need to burn more calories than you consume. But there lies the problem. The self-discipline needed to actually do this eludes us. It appears much easier to take a pill or drink a protein shake and follow it up with a big bowl of ice cream. Better yet, let’s forget the pill and simply work out 20 minutes, a couple of times a week, on this fantastic piece of equipment you bought from a TV ad at midnight while eating the rest of the rocky road. 

The fact is, we can’t lose weight without discipline, and we can’t be a true professional without it either. A professional remembers his or her training and is constantly learning and striving to be better. A professional complies with the standards and safe work rules that apply to their job. Professionals watch out for their teammates and, when necessary, helps them maintain a high standard of performance. A professional does not look to someone else to hold them accountable. They hold themselves accountable. They do what is right even when no one is looking.

When “discipline” is defined in the dictionary, words such as punishment, enforce and govern are used. But hidden within the many definitions is the word, “self-control.” Here is where we need to focus. I believe we can all agree that the best disciplinary process is one that is never needed. We can help ensure that by exercising discipline around our work and holding ourselves accountable to a highest standard of performance.

Bill Dampf is the retired Director of Corporate Safety and Health for a Midwest electric and natural gas utility. He has been in the safety profession for 36 years and an international speaker for 15. He has acquired both his BS degree and Masters degree in Industrial Safety, is a Certified Safety Professional and published author. In Bill’s spare time he gets to travel on behalf of his own company, “Let’s Talk Success Presentations” where he shares his passion for achieving personal success and success in safety with workers, companies, associations and at conferences across North America. Bill would welcome the opportunity to share a safety message with your workers. To contact Bill call 573-230-3910, email him at bdampf@aol.com  or visit his website at www.ltspresentations.com .

Sponsored by

Most Popular Articles


CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

June 2014
Volume 18, Issue 6
file

Utility Products Topics

Transmission & Distribution
                       Vehicles & Accessories
Tools & Supplies   Safety
Line Construction & Maintenance   Test & Measurement

WEBCASTS

There is no current content available.

UTILITY PRODUCTS BUYERS' GUIDE

POWER INDUSTRY JOBS

Industry Company Pages

Keep up-to-date with the latest news and articles from some of the prominent utility product companies and resources.

BUYER'S GUIDE PRODUCTS

Meter Socket Jumpers - Perfect for Submetering Applications

AEP’s Meter Socket Jumper offers a safe and easy means of bypassing a meter socket. The Socket Jumper can be used with either Ringless or Ring style Meters.

Meter Socket Converter

AE Product’s Meter Socket Converter (CNV) converts various Meter Forms to fit the desired application. 14S, 15S or 16S Socket to accept 2S Meter. Optional features available.

Service Disconnect Adapter with Electronic Meter Energizing

AEP’s Service Disconnect Adapter disconnects customer load but maintains power to the electronic meter. The meter maintains reading and communications links for AMR/AMI operations while only disabling the load side.