Blog - The Raven Speaks

Why Your Safety Program Doesn’t Work

Safety Programs start with the best of intentions when we're seated around a table in the office, but so often fall flat when it comes time to bring them to life in the field.

What's one of the biggest reasons this happens?

Individual Risk Tolerence.

Everyone shows up at work each day with their own level of risk tolerence.  Their personal risk tolerence determines how they'll interpret the safety program that they are working under.  Want to make your safety program really work? Influence individual risk tolerence.  


No Check-Boxing Here

We've said it before, but when it comes to influencing an individual's risk tolerence, there are no short cuts.

However ... the cultural shift that can occur when an organization places their energy on modifying individual risk tolerence is worth every single deliberate step taken by management and supervisors.

When we work with organizations to improve their safety programs, individual risk tolerence is one of the key elements we keep in mind.  Whether we're only working on a small piece of a safety program (say, a fatigue management plan) or a program in its entirety, we begin the process by clarifying goals with management and supervisors.  These initial conversations are telling: What kind of language is used during the meeting? Who has been invited to contribute? Our next step is often a site visit, a sure-fire way to identify how much care and interest is taken in a safety program by the very workers it was designed to protect.

At the end of the process, the safety program recommendations we provide are bound to consider the risk tolerence of individuals while at their place of work.  We aren't interested in helping companies check a box by producing a safety program document that's going to collect dust, and we're living proof of this. 

We're Living Proof

We run a tight ship here. We have a small but dedicated office staff working intimately with technical rescue instructors spread across the far corners of Canada, delivering training in high risk environments to hundreds of students on a given day during the busy season. We know the challenges of remote management. We know the challenges of high risk work environments.

And we know the challenges of workers with a specialized skill set interpreting safety plans in a way that works for them.  If technical rescue instructors can bring their individual risk tolerence to their workplaces, anyone is susceptible.

Fennell's 10

If you haven't taken the time before, familiarize yourself with David Fennell's seminal work on risk tolerence, and the human factors that affect it. We reviewed David Fennell's work, and wrote an "interpretation" for emergency responders, in a three-part blog:

Part I: The Power Factor

Part II: An Emergency Responder's Spin On Fennell's 10

Part III: How To Disarm the Power Factor


Interested in having us take a look at some, or all, of your safety program? You'll get to work with our dedicated team in the office, and with one of our technical rescue instructors, selected for their unique and diverse background in safety and experience with your operational environment. Contact us for more details at (or give us a call at 1 800 880 0287).


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Darren Anderson
Strathcona Fire Department

Huge "thank you" to Ron Morrison, Rob Vance & Chris Burnham for a fantastic week of Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Technician training. Your professionalism, dedication, knowledge and passion for your profession is second to none.


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