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Blog Home > Archive (October, 2018)

Many people around the world are using October as a time to reflect and bring awareness to Breast Cancer. According to breastcancer.org, about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. We can all probably list five people we know who have had this evil disease at one point in their life. It is also the most common cancer among women and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Several organizations are devoted to finding a cure for cancer including Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Cancer Research Institute, and the American Cancer Society, just to name a few.

Going back to the alarming 1 in 8 women statistic, we would like to highlight our very own Teresa Pulley, who is a breast cancer survivor. Teresa is the office manager at our Kentucky office and has been employed with Robinson since 2006. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and announced she was cancer free in 2014. One charitable organization that Teresa says has helped her and her family tremendously from the time she was diagnosed is the American Cancer Society. “They provided much needed literature to keep me informed about what to expect, side effects, and local support groups,” said Teresa. She also mentioned that the Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky has a section specifically for women who have lost (or will lose) their hair. “They provide free wigs, scarves, head wraps, and hats, as well as classes for other self-image issues such as make-up and clothing, which really helps with the mental aspect of dealing with cancer.” Teresa is proud to announce that today she is 4 ½ years cancer free!

Cancer, no matter the type, is an evil disease, so today and every day, we remember those who have been diagnosed, those who have survived, and those who have lost their battle.

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A near miss or near hit refers to an unplanned event that has the potential to incur loss, injury, or damage, but did not. So you may be asking yourself, why then, if the incident did not cause loss, injury, or damage, would it need to be reported to anyone? The answer is a simple one. Near misses provide opportunity to learn valuable lessons from an event that had potentially disastrous consequences.

Near miss reporting can be an important indicator of the safety culture within a company. Typically, the effectiveness of a safety program is measured by lagging indicators, such as the number of incidents, injuries, days away from work, etc. They are reactive in nature and reporting occurs AFTER the facts. Conversely, leading indicators are proactive in nature, such as safety initiatives or activities reported with the goal of preventing adverse events BEFORE they happen. Leading indicators are focused on future safety performance and continuous improvement. They are a tool that can be used not only to prevent future incidents, but also to identify faults within the system. If our goal each day is to make certain our employees go home the exact way they came to work that day, by recognizing and reporting near miss incidents, we are identifying and controlling hazards before workers are injured, resulting in a significant improvement in worker safety and enhanced safety culture.

REASONS TO REPORT NEAR MISSES:

  • By investigating near miss incidents, you can identify the root cause and the weaknesses in the system that led to the near miss.
  • Investigation results can be used to improve safety systems, control hazards, reduce risk, and learn lessons. All of these represent opportunity for training, feedback on performance, and a commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Near miss reporting is vitally important in preventing serious, fatal and catastrophic incidents that are less frequent, but far more harmful than other incidents.

Reporting should be encouraged, not discouraged. Any negative feedback will only result in a safety culture where reporting is not a priority. The intent of a near miss program is to learn a lesson once, implement appropriate controls, and share information among team members in order to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future. It is important that we emphasize positivity, especially when it comes to reporting near misses. As professionals, we all have the same goal – ensure our employees return home each day the same way they arrived on the job – healthy and uninjured. Tracking and trending near misses, in addition to incidents, helps us achieve this goal.

This post first appeared in our quarterly publication, Robinson Report (Volume 16, Issue 4, 2018). View the full issue here.

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Andrew DeClue, IT Assistant, recently completed the A+ Certification, which demonstrates proficiency with computer hardware and operating systems. Andrew was required to demonstrate his knowledge by passing an examination on several IT related topics, as well as installing and configuring multiple types of operating systems. The exam also addresses security, the fundamentals of cloud computing, and operational procedures.

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