A higher level of safety culture.

A fifth level of safety consciousness. – Creating a safe and productive work environment.

Robert Pater describes four levels of safety culture. These are forced, protective, involved and leadership.

Many of the places I visited during my work as a sales rep for a boiler repair company fell into the first group. Actually maybe there needs to be a lower group as sometimes I saw places where worker safety was completely ignored. In others, the safety policies were forced upon the workers and managers alike. Every one there felt safety was a burden and OSHA was out to shut them down. There was some truth in that, but not for the reasons they felt.

The workers themselves even rebelled against the safety protections because they were forced by the safety police to comply. They felt the PPE and other protections were just another form of repression.

I have also seen many plants that work on the second level. These are the plants that Pater says have a lot of procedures that don’t get followed when no one is looking. I used to work on a plant where one guy actually said in response to a reprimand, “I did not know that was a procedure we were actually supposed to follow.” And he was serious.

In the protective mode, the managers feel they have to impose safety for the employee’s own good. They feel they have to protect them from themselves in spite of themselves. The safety director here is often detached from the work environment and lots of money and effort goes into promoting the flavor of the week safety campaigns. I suspect a lot of the people who come to my web site looking for free safety slogans work in these types of environments.

Next up the scale are the involved plants. These are places that have made a lot of progress in safety and here I usually see a lot of safety teams doing safety stuff. There is probably a safety suggestion program. As Pater points out, these facilities often hit a plateau where improvement is stifled by their previous progress. The last facility I worked at had reached this point. I got really annoyed when one of my workers got injured trying to implement one of the safety suggestions made by the safety committee.

Pater’s summit level is the leadership level. At this level, safety is done by people, for themselves. There is a true belief that all accidents are preventable. Management actively champions safety. The culture is proactive and morale is enthusiastic. There is a real emphasis on engagement and getting everyone as involved as possible.

Plants like this are unfortunately rare. Few ever make it past the involved level as the safety team structure is self limiting. When the safety consciousness evolves to the leadership level, the safety directors and safety teams are no longer needed. The safety ego steps in to protect itself and limits the transition to the higher level.

I would actually love to see a plant that operated at an even higher level of safety consciousness. This would be a creative level. At this level, there would be no conscious thought directed at preventing safety problems because there would not be any to prevent. All procedures would be written to reflect the safest and most efficient way to produce a quality product with minimal adverse effect on the environment. There would be no energy given to preventing accidents. Instead the total focus would be on the desired outcome. In this environment, employees would focus their entire attention on doing theirs jobs well. There would be no thought of injury or pain.

In some ways this level sounds like the sub level one plants; but in practice, it is the complete opposite. In the sub level one safety consciousness, there is not thought given to the well being of the people. In the creative level, the well being of the people involved is the primary concern. At this level, the well being of the people and the facility are the same. People are focused on creating quality product as safely and efficiently as possible.

The most important step in achieving a level five facility is believing that it is possible. The results of the facility will be a vibrational match to the people involved in the process. People that focus on accidents and accident prevention will continue to see accidents. People who believe in a creative safety culture will see an environment where there is no need for safety policies and procedures. The standard operating procedures will instruct employees in the safest, most efficient way to create quality products.

Again, the safety ego of the facility is often the greatest hindrance to achieving this step. Once a facility approaches the creative level of safety consciousness there is no longer a need for safety directors and safety teams. These people have worked themselves out of a job.

However, if their energy and efforts are shifted instead to creating a safe and productive work environment, all will benefit even more. In the lower four levels, the safest way for employees to act is not to work. However this method is not really in the best interest of their overall well being. At the creative level of safety consciousness, employees’ well being is best served by working according to the established work practices and producing quality goods for which they are well paid.

If you would like to learn more about how to transform your safety consciousness to that of creating a safe and productive work environment see http://strawsolutions.com

Septic System Sump Pump Installation

Septic System Sump Pump Installation

My friends needed a septic system that pumps uphill. Their house is at the low point on their plot and for years the septic system has not worked well. They needed to fix it so that they can have toilets that actually flush in the rain. An unusually wet Spring season has accented the problem so that they made the decision to spend the sizable sum of money to correct the problem.

The system consists of the regular septic tank then a septic effluent pump tank and then a distribution tank located at the top of the hill. The new septic tank had to be placed so as not to disturb the old tank so that the existing system could still be used during construction. The pump tank had to be located slightly below the septic tank so that gravity would flow the waste water to it. The septic tank effluent pump sits inside the pump tank and pumps the water to the distribution tank high on the hill. From there, the water will drain into the field lines by gravity.

My job was to connect the sump pump and alarm to the electrical supply. The alarm is required by the local sewer codes to make a visual and audible alarm should the water level in the pump tank exceed a certain level. This gives an early warning that there is something wrong with the sewer pump.

For reliability, the alarm has to have its own separate circuit. If the alarm was powered by the supply to the pump and the breaker tripped to the pump, there would be no alarm. I installed the alarm inside the house so that it can be easily seen and heard as suggested by the local plumbing inspector. I connected the wires directly to the alarm panel and ran them all inside conduit so that it would be tamper resistant.

This house had an exterior breaker box originally installed for the AC addition. This box had a couple of extra spaces in it that made a perfect place to pull power for the new septic pump system. I used a 20 AMP GFI breaker for the sump pump service and a 15 AMP standard breaker for the alarm. Their local ACE hardware had the right breakers for this older Square D box.

The most labor intensive part of the job was running the underground wires from the box at the front of the house to the septic field behind the house. Much of the trench had to be dug by hand due to close proximity of the AC compressor, flower beds and a sidewalk. The majority of the trench was dug by the plumping contractor using his backhoe.

A 12 gage wire was run for the pump and a 14 gage wire for the alarm. The wire used was rated for direct burial so conduit was not needed. I did run conduit for extra protection from the box down to the bottom of the 24 inch deep trench at each end of the wire. I used the same 14 gage direct burial wire to extend the float wiring from the alarm unit to the field.

At the pump tank, I installed a weather proof single 20 AMP outlet on a 4×4 post. This is where the Myers Sewer pump is plugged in. The plug provides the required local disconnect since the breaker is not within sight of the pump tank. The float wiring was placed in a separate junction box on the same post.

A piece of conduit was cut to fit into the neck of the tank so that the cord to the septic pump and the alarm float wiring would be protected. The conduit ends slightly below the outlet for the septic pump.

Our local inspector was happy with the details and water proofing. I used a compression fitting at the bottom of each conduit run and sealed it with silicone as well to prevent critters from finding their way into the junction boxes.

I tied a length of rope to the sump pump, fastened the alarm float to the outlet pipe and carefully lowered the sewer pump into place. I secured the free end of the rope to one of the lifting lugs of the sewer pump tank. Now the plumbing contractor can finish his work to get their system operational.

I am sure they will enjoy being able to take baths and flush the toilet even when it rains.

Weight loss plan trial in Cleveland, Tn

I am looking for 10 people in Cleveland, Tn to help me evaluate a lifestyle system designed to help you achieve your weight loss goals and be healthy!

I am going to be testing a weight loss system that incorporates Menu Planning, Fitness and exercise planning, Stress reduction techniques, and Behavior modification. The full system is a twelve week program. I am giving it a thirty day trial run to see if it is right for me.

In order to give it my best shot, I need some people to work with me. My plan is to meet once a week to discuss how we are applying the plan and what parts are working for each of us and what challenges we are facing. Our goal will be to work as a team so that every one who participates meets their individual goals. There will be no competition, just universal support.

As the team leader, I will research the program and help coach each of the participants. There will be no charge for participating in the program, but each person will be responsible for purchasing his own food, supplements and study materials. We can split the costs of the training literature and DVDs and such where it is appropriate.

Meetings will be held at my office on the Cleveland State Community College campus. I will be happy to provide natural healing coaching to the participants as part of the program for those who help me meet my weight and health goals.

To qualify for the program, you have to be willing to commit to at least a thirty day trial. You will have to commit to actually following the plan as best you can. You will have to commit to meeting once a week and sharing your success and failure openly and honestly with the group. You have to agree to be accepting and supporting of other group members during the trial period. We may establish other rules as we go along to make everyone feel comfortable with the meetings.

If you are serious about improving your health and creating a sustainable healthy body weight, come give this program a try with me. Space is limited by the size of the conference room. I am most interested in people who would want to teach this system to others once you prove it works for you. However, anyone who is interested in loosing a few pounds and feeling better is welcome to apply.

If this sounds like you, send me a message on Twitter or facebook or email me with your health goals and the best time of the week for you to meet. I look forward to working with you.

Reducing Stomach Problems

I often don’t like to eat lunch because I usually have stomach problems in the afternoon. While I enjoy the social aspect of eating lunch the stomach pains and bloated feeling gets in the way of my productivity in the afternoon.

This week I have been experimenting with Market America Isotonix Digestive Enzymes. I just put half a pack in water and drink it with the meal.

Yesterday we had lunch at Burger King and even while we were still at the table I started to feel icky. I remembered my digestive enzymes in my pocket and I mixed the up in my drink cup and slurped them down. By the time I was back at the office I had totally forgotten my stomach pain.

Today, I remembered to take th enzymes before I went to lunch. Now I am back at the office feeling fine and ready to type.

When mixed with water the enzymes have a taste sorta like Gatorade. A little salty and slightly sweet. Not bad at all.

But I really like the way they make me feel. I am sure I will see an overall boost in productivity since I won’t loose an hour or so after lunch thinking about my stomach.

The digestive enzymes are available from Market America. Search for Isotonix® Digestive Enzyme with Probiotics.

Pontotoc, Ms

Returning to my birthplace.

During my last session of re birthing breath work with Judiana, I finally re experienced my birth. I now understand where a lot of my fears and strange emotions come from.

I felt a strong urge to go back to the place I was born, Pontotoc, Ms. Pontotoc is a very small town in north Mississippi. I was born there in 1960. My mother still has my grandfathers home there and the 100 acre farm. She need to go down and pay some bills so i volunteered to go in her place so I could attempt to reconnect and get a better handle on these strange emotions that came up.

I drove my dad’s Ford Focus to save fuel costs. The little car was surprisingly comfortable and very fun to drive. I got about 30 MPG – way better than my Jeep.

Driving alone gave me plenty of time to think and enjoy the freedom of going the way I wanted to go. I stopped by Russel cave and Point mallard along the way.

I spent some time driving around the back roads of Pontotoc and around our farm.

I read the book You can heal your life by Louise Hay. I have used the healing chart for a while but I had never before taken time to read the whole book and do the exercises.

Being back at my birth place helped me to do the exercises of remembering or imagining my childhood. While I have many fond memories of growing up on the farm, there are lots of troubling ones as well. The feelings of separateness and of never having enough money came up heavily in my memories.

Also, I noticed some strange negative feelings about money. I am sure these are the root of my financial problems toady.

As I worked through the exercises in the book, I realized I have a lot of unexpressed anger. I suspect i am manifesting this as annoying people in my life. I find that I am increasingly annoyed by my friends and others in my life. I don’t yet fully understand this but I know that whatever i am experiencing in life is simply a reflection of my inner thoughts.

I am beginning to get a handle on the ager that I have long repressed. I learned this anger at a very early age.

I still have a ways to go on learning to release this anger. However I am sure just being aware of it will help greatly in ridding myself of it. I had thought it was just fear but it is really anger. I have done such a good job of repressing this anger that I do not even consider myself to be an angry person.

But I do keep noticing fevers, and other illness that are caused by anger. Also the increase in annoying people in my life is the tripping point that made me look deeper.

As I learn to release this anger I expect to see an improvement in my health, my relationships and my financial situation.