Real or Perceived…… Does it Really Matter?

In a recent post perception was identified as an obstacle to safety in the workplace.  In particular, the mention of OSHA usually elicits a less than positive comment.  Besides general perception, employers may be concerned about expense, time, control, expertise and incentive.  These concerns are rationalizations more than real obstacles.  The Safely Working Project changes the perception by changing the focus from “Safety” to Safely Working.  It is really a simple re-orientation that can encourage an employer to embrace and make a commitment to Safely Working.

  • Control – Everyone has a role and responsibility
  • ExpertiseSensible Care is the key
  • Money – Safely Working doesn’t cost anything
  • Time – Increased productivity more than compensates
  • Incentive – Safely Working 100% of the Time, not compliance
  • Perception – Positive workplace, real, not perceived

It can be summarized this way:  “The success of a company can only be achieved through Safely Working…… because just working will not assure success.”

But, we still haven’t identified what is probably the biggest obstacle to safety a small business employer has.   Why do people (in this case, employers) rationalize?  It’s usually when the solution or answer is not easily implemented.   Put yourself in the employer, owner, CEO or boss’ chair.  You’re just getting started getting the business rolling.  Is safety part of the business plan?  You give it some thought and come up with this basic list of questions:

  • Why do it?
  • Where to start?
  • Who does it?
  • How to get it done?
  • What are the issues?
  • When is it enough?

Well, you’re doing it because you know it is one of the elements needed for a successful operation.  That takes care of the “Why.”   And the “Who,” “How,” “What,” and “When” can’t easily answered until you’ve answered “Where to start.”  That’s easy to answer, right?  Just go to and click the green “START HERE” button.  What? You can’t find it?!?

The fact is, there is no such button, just a comprehensive website built around thousands of pages of regulations.  That’s the problem.  Workplace safety may not be complicated, but it is expansive.  There’s so much to do and safety depends on all of it being done all the time.  A little overwhelming.  Not unlike herding cats?  It’s a lot easier to rationalize why it’s not needed than to figure out where to start.  So, the biggest obstacle to workplace safety is figuring out where to start.

In our next post we’ll tell you where to find the green “START HERE” button.


©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

Safety Stew Reheated, or…… Turn It Into Stroganoff!!

I recently attended a luncheon featuring an attorney who discussed current Workers’ Compensation issues in our state.  The speaker was an expert and fielded lots of very specific questions.  I am always amazed how much time safety professionals spend dealing with these issues.  As I have been more involved through the years with the active ingredients in the “safety stew” I have been fortunate to avoid workers’ compensation woes.  What strikes me is that the time consumed by workers’ comp takes away time from the active ingredients that drive Safely Working.

If you are new to The Safely Working Project you may be asking what the heck is “Safety Stew?”  It is a concept we introduced here a couple months ago.  It occurred to me that it was time to reheat the Stew and consider whether we can turn it into Stroganoff.  Basically, “Safety Stew” is made up of active ingredients, inactive ingredients and fillers.  The active ingredients are what really makes the stew good.  If we use just the active ingredients we can make a more refined plate of stroganoff, or for our purposes Safely Working Stroganoff.  The principal active ingredients are:

  • Employer commitment – Empower supervisors and employees
  • Danger check – Recognize the dangers from activities and conditions
  • Practices and procedures – Safe 6, one rule to rule them all
  • Employee training – Skills for Safely Working
  • Supervision – Working with employees to protect their lifestyles
  • Promotion – Keep the stroganoff deliciously warm!

These are all common ingredients any workplace can produce themselves.  The fact is when Stroganoff is the main entry on the menu the need for adding fillers (like workers’ comp management) should be kept to a minimum and not dominate the dish.

For now, let’s consider employer and management commitment.  Remember, The Safely Working Project is geared toward employers that have no safety professional for whatever reason.  The Project’s mission is to provide guidance that can be simply applied and implemented by supervisors and employees.  We want to put employers in a position where there are no obstacles and no excuse for not promoting a Safely Working Environment. (See this post)  An employer who is committed to making Stroganoff and empowering employees and supervisors to be Safely Working will likely have fewer mishaps and thus less likely to have to deal with the fillers like workers’ comp to any great extent.

Something to keep in mind is that over time it’s employees that become supervisors. Many CEO’s started at the bottom.  Empowered employees will continue promoting a Safely Working Environment.  As more and more employees are given responsibility for Safely Working, the Safely Working Environment will be evident and pervasive.  That’s why we believe “Safely Working From The Ground Up!” is more effective than trickle down safety.

In Part 2 we’ll discuss the obstacles to Safely Working.


©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

Safe 6 Featured in BLR Workplace Safety News…… Check It Out!

Ana Ellington, Legal Editor, with Business & Legal Resources, Inc. (BLR) posted an article featuring The Safely Working Project and Safe 6 in their “Workplace Safety News.”  BLR is a respected national publisher of compliance information and guidance for safety, environmental and HR professionals.

We are extremely pleased that BLR chose to tell their subscribers and customers about The Safely Working Project.  You can read the article at


©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.

“Safely Working Protects Your Lifestyle”

“Safely Working Protects Your Lifestyle” is our theme for 2015.

lifestyle18 (post)So, to start the New Year out right, The Safely Working Project is making it easy to introduce Safe 6 into your workplace.

For the first 25 people who register at our Safe 6 Forum – The Safely Working Community, the Project will send a free Safe 6 Kit so you can start the New Year with Sensible Care.  The kit will include at least the following items:

Poster 2 - 050714 (post)
1 – 11 x 17 laminated Safe 6 poster –
“Push All The Right Buttons”
25 – Pocket Cards with a Safe 6 summary
25 – Safe 6 Buttons – “Do It All The Time!”
25 – Pens


Here’s what you need to do.   Browse to and register as a new user (if you are not already registered).  New users will be approved within 24 hours, usually.  Approval is required to prevent Forum Spam and to protect you.  Once approved, you will be linked to a limited access area of the forum with instructions on ordering your Safe 6 Kit.  There is no cost to register on the Safe 6 Forum and there is no cost for the Safe 6 Kit.  It will be sent to you free of chargeNo credit cards will be requested and your information will not be shared.  This offer is limited to addresses within the United Sates.

So, why are we doing this?  We want Safe 6 to become an everyday feature in your workplace.  If we can increase the user base of Safe 6 we anticipate getting more practical feedback that will be used to improve Safe 6 and the tools and guides developed by The Safely Working Project.

The only request we have is that you share your experience on Facebook, LinkedIn or in an email to us.


©2015 The Safely Working Project & P.D. Shafer III

“Safe 6” is a registered trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.
“Safely Working” is a trademark of Trailmarker Ltd.