Her Intuition for Risk Assessment: HIRA in A New Light
(Tribute to All Mothers)
So, last Sunday, I was forced to take my kids to a park, the brief was to spend some time with them! An age-old story for which you all know, how it ends. I had to take up the job, so I said yes. Few minutes later, my wife said she is also going to go along. Again, no prizes for guessing, I had to say yes.
Get to the car, my 9 years old jumps into the passenger seat next to the driver, before rest of them have even climbed in, she was already fiddling with the radio to locate her favorite song. Then, that very familiar authoritative voice echoed, darling, you cannot sit in the front seat, the daughter makes a face as if she has been exposed to the sour gas, nevertheless she does obey. My Mind was hooked on to something, which I might have witnessed numerous times in my life but never saw it in the perspective of my professional life as a Safety Guy.
Off we go, right from getting off the car, once we reached the park and each activity there on, I was hooked on to the chain of events which we call a Risk Assessment or a Job Safety Analysis, once we get on our work boots.
Mother got into the action as soon as we reached the park. The kids had to de-board the car using the left doors, to avoid traffic, the daughter was stopped from playing on slide because it had rough edges of protruding iron spurs, a missing rung on the ladder was quickly spotted, water and energy drinks every 30 mins to counter dehydration, the list of hazards she could spot was ongoing. What amazed me was, how naturally it all came to her, she was not putting any effort into it, it seemed she was on auto pilot mode, just cruising at a leisurely pace yet very careful of the surrounding and things that could hurt the children. At the end of the shift, we all returned home, zero accidents and injuries.
I have undertaken tasks like these in my professional life as a safety representative, so many times that I cannot even count. We train the employees to undertake HIRA (Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment) to foresee the hazards and their effects and devise a strategy to counter them. This is proven system by logic and implementation which surely helps in preventing workplace injuries and accidents.
So, the question is what is the difference between a mother’s HIRA (Her Intuition for Risk Assessment) and a professionally created HIRA (Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment). Well, I will vote that Love Care is the key element which makes the difference. It’s her will that her kids do not suffer any harm, which has made her system so efficient that she can even spot hazards with very low probability, that too, quite ahead of times. The key ingredient of CARE also results in eliminating financial boundaries, so if money is required to introduce new systems which will guarantee safety, she will go for it.
There is so much that we as HSE professionals can learn from a Mothers HIRA to improve Industrial HIRA. If we also have love and care for our employees, then foreseeing hazards in any operations will become part of the instinct. The financial cost required to implement expensive countermeasures will not be obstructions from doing the right thing.
The commitment to zero injuries in workplace, with utmost care for employees, can be a secret recipe, stolen from a mother’s closet, for effective Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment.