Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

July 20, 2014

Safety, ALCOA, and the Carlton Complex

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[this is my 800th Post…]

You can’t always plan for what’s coming, but preparation and prevention pay off most when things get their worst. This video will, no doubt, be the basis for a safety meeting somewhere in the not-too-distant future (and should be the basis for firing). While the Methow burns on the east side of the mountains, it will be business-as-usual for the average Safety responsible employee in Everett.

Three years ago, when I first started offering employers a means of measuring and decreasing their back pain injury rates, I thought that it might be difficult, it might not work, but given the gravity of the situation in terms of incidence rate, expense and disability, it was important enough to try. There are lots of reasons, but for the most part when people see their job as “promoting safety”… “by ensuring compliance” with the law, on the one hand, and “administration and enforcement of ordinances” on the other, every one stays busy but there isn’t much energy left for noticing whether or not the average employee’s risk of injury is going up or going down. It isn’t measured and it’s not the focus. That’s the impression that I got anyway, few have seen the value of a serious, in depth, conversation about it.

Since then I read a story that I would like to share. It’s about what happens when safety becomes the priority. It’s from “The Power of Habit”, by Charles Duhigg.

In 1987 Paul O’Neill was introduced as the new CEO of Alcoa to a room full of Wall Street investors and analysts. Most there hadn’t heard of him. He opened with this sentence: “I want to talk to you about worker safety.”

“Within a year of O’Neill’s speech, Alcoa’s profits would hit a record high.”

“Whats more, all that growth occurred while Alcoa became one of the safest companies in the world.”

How?

“By attacking one habit and then watching the changes ripple through the organization.”

“… Some habits… matter more than others…. These are ‘keystone habits,’ and they can influence how people work, eat, play, live, spend and communicate. Keystone habits start a process that, over time, transforms everything.”

“…The habits that matter most are the ones that, when they start to shift, dislodge and remake other patterns.”

“O’Neill never promised that his focus on worker safety would increase Alcoa’s profits. However, as his new routines moved through the organization, costs came down, quality went up, and productivity skyrocketed.” (Today O’Neill teaches hospitals how to focus on worker safety and keystone habits that can lower medical error rates.)

It’s a very good book. Later on in the book, there’s this:

The way we habitually think of our surroundings and ourselves create the worlds that each of us inhabit. “There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods to them and says, “Morning boys. How’s the water?'” … “And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then one of them looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the hell is water?'”

While you are thinking about that, here is the news from this past week: “Employers Need Chiropractic First and Sooner”, based on a Study just published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Clearly, no amount of evidence is compelling when it comes to prevention; no amount of experience or combination of experience and qualifications is compelling either. The status quo is very stable.

I know my words are often provocative. And Everett clearly is not the vanguard of progressiveness when it comes to integrative health care. But any brief glance around reveals that the job isn’t getting done when it comes to back safety. And if you do want help reducing your employee’s risk of injury, I can help. You can get a taste of what’s available at this We’ve Got Your Back class, through the Everett Parks & Recreation. It will be at Forest Park next month. Like the fires that follow a draught, it’s not a matter of if it become the priority, it’s only a question of when.

Or you could just call us at (425) 348-5207.

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2 Comments »

  1. […] habit of not eating after 8 p.m. was made famous by folks in the Natural Hygienic movement, like Jethro […]

    Pingback by If You Want To Loose Weight… | Everett Chiropractic Center Blog — January 5, 2015 @ 12:18 pm


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