theme Innovation for improving Safety is very apt. It
is said that - “There is one thing stronger than
all the armies in the world… and that is an innovative
idea, whose time has come”. In thinking about
anything creatively, we must learn to get out of our
well worn grooves. As someone has rightly said if we
do what we’ve always done, we will get what we’ve
always got. Therefore if we want to get something different
we’ve got to do something different and in order
to do something different we’ve got to think in
a different way.
Success of an organization largely depends upon effective
utilization of its resources leading to qualitative
and quantitative production of goods and services. It
is always found that an organization with higher productivity
and quality has better safety records. In other words
productivity, quality and safety go hand in hand.
Every enterprise has to relay on human skill and ability
for efficient operation or activities. It is the human
knowledge and skill which can bring success in any kind
of activity. Safety management should therefore aim
at improvement of activities or performance standard
of people at work.
“A Chain is no stronger than its weakest link.”
It is very much true with the subject of safety. In
the modern world with all the latest technology available
and sophisticated controls, with all the fail-safe devices
provided, the safety chain always includes people which
are the weakest link.
As accidents don’t just happen, they are the result
of some unsafe acts or some unsafe conditions, which
in turn can often be traced back to faults of persons.
Statistics show that more than 85% of the industrial
accidents are caused by people and a very few by power
driven machinery. Therefore to make this chain stronger
the safety consciousness among people has to be cultivated
and to make it a stronger link in the safety chain,
there has to be an innovative culture in the organization.
The culture is the summation of attitudes of personnel
at all levels in the organization. We should always
remember that for innovation in improving safety –
“Seeing beyond the obvious is a skill which can
take us miles together on the path to progress and achievement
As essential element of any safety culture, a proper
training has to be developed with intentional planning
and devoted efforts. Human being is in the centre of
all activities. In safety management also, various challenges
are to be met by man.
Thus it is essential that he is to be internally empowered
to face all the adverse situations encountered at various
stages in life.
In order to empower people there are three
innovative methods for improving safety - they are
1) Developing the
sixth sense – Intuition
2) Spiritual wisdom and Spiritual values to enhance
our Spiritual Quotient to maintain a balance in our
attitudes and behaviour.
3) Relaxation techniques to free oneself from constant
SIXTH SENSE - INTUITION
Intuition is also know as mysterious flashes of insight
hunches, gut feelings, animal instinct, or the sixth
sense. There is a great awareness that is being created
in the Corporate world to do management by intuition.
Most of us sometimes have had remarkably accurate intuitions
that seem to spring from nowhere.
Even when not in emergency mode our internal radar is
on alert for patterns of threat. These hidden powers
of perception are what allow people to see the invisible.
Many a times we come to know after the hazards that
some people had the mysterious flashes of insight hunches,
but they were not able to identify the signals or it
was too late to do something when they understood.
Our bodies are powerful transmitters and receivers.
We transmit through our voice and inflection, choices
of words, facial expressions, actions and body language.
Likewise, our physical senses hearing, sight, taste,
smell, and touch are powerful receptors, able to retrieve
immense amounts of information every second. They send
signals through the nervous system to the brain, which
then processes and responds to that information with
messages and impulses.
The adaptive unconscious is a mechanism in the brain
that processes an ocean of sensory information, sorting
it, interfering causes, judging people and influencing
feelings and behaviour all without our conscious mind
Though we may often be unaware of the source of the
signal, we still may pick up on the finer vibrations
of thought and emotion, just as we do the physical sensations.
We transmit and receive this information in a similar
pattern, even though the energies are difficult to measure.
Intuition is actually a two step linking and checking
process. First we rapidly sort memories, looking for
a familiar pattern to guide us. As we follow the plan
that worked in an earlier, similar situation, our unconscious
mind is vigilant for anything odd or unexpected. Secondly,
We’re constantly reading ourselves, checking for
emotional or physical reactions, such as an uneasy feeling
or increase in heart-rate that say, - watch out you
may be getting into trouble.
One way to understand how this process works is to imagine
a playground full of excited children, with a parent
sitting on a sideline. That parent is so well attuned,
so familiar with his or her own child’s voice,
that he or she can, at any given moment, instantly pick
out that voice from all the others on the playground.
So it is with intuition. As we become more spiritually
attuned, we can better pinpoint the “sound”
of our higher self, or of God, and learn to recognize
The regular practice of meditation allows us to tune
in to our higher senses and clear our sensory systems
of the static of other influences. We become cognizant
of the impulses that arise from within with which we
truly resonate. Everything we do to become more spiritually
attuned improves our ability to understand, interpret,
and follow through on the guidance we receive.
We become aware of influences and information through
intuition, when we lay the groundwork for a spiritual
connection to one another and to the source of energy,
we sharpen these higher senses of receptivity. Intuition
is our greatest link to our higher selves and to the
SPIRITUAL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL VALUES TO ENHANCE OUR
SPIRITUAL QUOTIENT TO MAINTAIN A BALANCE IN OUR ATTITUDES
In the present day society all efforts are more or less
directed towards the economic growth which in turn results
in prosperity and in developing the means for comforts
and entertainment. This has given rise to materialism
and consumerism at the cost of moral human and spiritual
values. It has also enhanced the human desires, whose
mind now always remains busy how to acquire various
means of comforts which diverts his attention from work.
The theory of unsafe
acts has been supported by a generally negative view
of workers like recklessness, stubbornness, impatience,
lack of responsibility, lack of concentration and other
undesirable traits of character that may have been passed
along through inheritance or acquired. Environment may
also develop undesirable traits of characters. Both
inheritance and environment cause faults of person.
Unsafe performance of persons with such attitudes have
become so prevalent. Most of history’s worst tales
are about smart individuals who ended up harming others.
Values are the missing link in modern management system
and in safety systems too. Values grow in spirituality
and are nourished and strengthened by wisdom. The missing
dimension is the spiritual dimension which is intimately
connected with the being.
Spiritual Quotient has become the late buzzword in the
corporate cycle. It cannot be ignored that corporate
values are made up of individual values and it is reiterated
in this content that spiritual intelligence is the foundation
stone for inculcation of these values. It is being touted
as the best formula for success in business, in one’s
profession and in life. But it has roots in a part of
our lives that has never been considered of relevance
to these fields.
This has prompted psychologists to look for something
other than IQ to account for success and happiness.
And they soon came up with Emotional Intelligence or
EQ, a term used to describe the ability to understand
one’s emotions and the emotions of others and
to act appropriately on the basis of this understanding.
EQ is the ability to respond skillfully.
But, over the past decade, as the pressures of modern
life grew, it has been realized that even EQ was inadequate
to deal with the situations individuals were facing
in their professional and personal lives. This is because
while EQ enables one to adjust one’s feelings
according to the situation, it does not have the power
to transform negative feelings into positive ones. That
requires SQ, the spiritual Quotient.
SQ, its proponents say, is the ultimate intelligence,
the one that enables us to give value and meaning to
our lives. It allows us to look beyond material success
to our larger purpose in this world. It is the foundation
of both Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient.
The ‘discovery’ of SQ in the HRD field is
a belated acknowledgement of a truth that our sages
have known long ago: that all the life’s problems
are essentially spiritual problems, and require a spiritual
remedy. When one learns to recognize the spiritual roots
of a problem, one can find more holistic and rewarding
solutions to them using spiritual Intelligence.
The validity of SQ demonstrates another truth that lasting
success and happiness cannot be achieved at the expense
of morality. This is because spiritual values are the
original values of the self, and each deed that lessens
these qualities leaves the self much more hallow. All
human actions have a moral dimension. So work and values
have to go together. Thus self management or moral and
spiritual development is essentially to be co-related
with skills. For enhancing effectiveness it is therefore,
natural that our attention should turn to spiritual
Wisdom. For management and safety to be value based
it is to be understood that moral and human values have
their roots in spirituality. In fact, values are the
core of spirituality.
RELAXATION TECHNIQUES TO FREE ONE=SELF FROM
CONSTANT PRESSURES EXPERIENCED
The 21st Century is considered to be the age of stress,
anxiety and panic. Where everyone experiences stress,
as the pressures of are too much and the inner resilience
power to cope up with the pressures is less. The challenges
are great and the inner strength is less. The pressures
are from all sides. One pressure is carried from the
past of some unresolved situation and the memories are
so deep. We keep holding on to it and are not able to
erase them, whenever we recollect them they pressurize
the mind. Another pressure is experienced of the unknown
future, as we are living in an age of Uncertainty and
whenever we think about the unknown future there is
a fear experienced. This fear of the unknown also creates
a pressure on the mind. And there are two pressures
experienced in the present. One is an internal pressure
created from our own negative thinking and another is
an external pressure created by external factors which
are beyond our control, but they are connected with
our lives and constantly influence us.
Hence there is a physical and psychological reaction
to a state of helplessness which often results from
a highly pressured, no exit situation. It is not just
the external pressures of life that put us at risk but
also the way we react to them. Stress has an enormous
influence on one’s psychological apparatus and
cognitive behaviour. A person becomes confused, irritable
and restless. His power to judge and decide is seriously
hampered under stress. It is our attitude and reactions
to situations, the way we use our thought energy, either
in worrying or creating solutions, that determines our
response to stress. Persistent negative or self destructive
thoughts become a major source of stress in themselves.
But there is a popular misconception that some amount
of stress is essential to life. Due to this belief efforts
to minimize stress are not made. As a matter of fact,
even if one learns and practices the techniques of stress
management, some amount of stress is bound to be still
there. Actually stress is an abnormal state and it is
a folly to consider it as an efficiency promoter. For
instance, ‘to walk’ is normal and ‘to
run’ constantly is abnormal for a human being.
The normal state can be sustained for long and the abnormal
state will soon lead to exhaustion and depression. One
shouldn’t get deceived by its small initial dosage
which appears harmless and seems to work (in the short
run). One needs to appreciate clearly that the beginning
of negativity, marks the end of positivity.
When we are feeling stressed we tend to point the finger
at outer circumstances and other people as the causes
of our stress, but they are only triggers.
The mental signs and symptoms of stress are always prior
to the physical symptoms. They are forms of mental or
emotional pain and include anger, tension, anxiety,
frustration etc. Pain is simply a messenger which comes
to tell you there is something you need to change.
When experienced daily, the mental symptoms of dis-ease
in the mind, soon manifest through the body in the form
of physical disease. This is the psychosomatic factor.
This does not require scientific evidence as proof but
the simple exercise of creating a thought of something
fearful stimulates the heart rate to increase and adrenaline
Just as when the physical resistance power of the body
is less, a change in weather affects our health, the
external viruses attack our sympathetic system and we
get prone to viral fevers or diseases. Similarly, stress
is experienced when the mental resistance power of the
self is less, and so a change in situation, circumstances
and events creates a physical or an emotional reaction.
In order to keep the body in a healthy state
there are three things essential.
(1) Healthy Nourishment.
(2) Physical rest and
(3) Regular exercises. Similarly if we want to keep
the spiritual self in a healthy state, the mind also
requires these three things
(1) Healthy Nourishment
– Spirituality is the only source of healthy nourishment
for the mind. Spiritual knowledge is a powerful catalyst
which transforms negative attitudes into positive ones.
Spirituality builds such attitudes that the same work
becomes a pleasure instead of a pressure. Even though
a person pays full attention to his work but he is free
(2) Mental relaxation
– Meditation enables one to consciously relax
the mind. Systematic practice of relaxation strengthens
one’s mental powers to face stressful circumstances.
As the external environment becomes more unpredictable,
our inner powers of self-awareness becomes more important.
(3) Positive thinking exercise – Thoughts directly
influence one’s behaviour. Hence every morning
think along these lines: Today is going to be a great
day. I am going to work with zeal and enthusiasm throughout
the day. I have much more inner power than I believe.
Today I am going to handle all situations with positive
outlook and happiness.
The thoughts, speech, actions and spirit should be in
harmony with each other. One of the methods to achieve
it is through regular spiritual nourishment and meditation
practise which helps in changing the attitude towards
life and work. Internal harmony is manifested in the
form of external harmony between different body organs
and in between various human beings. This improves the
biorhythm of the person also leading to safe acts. Therefore
it is said that Productivity and efficiency is got when
the body and mind are in perfect co-ordination.
Natural, sustainable, pleasant and positive stimulus
for work and efficiency can never come from stress or
pressure, it springs from appreciation, praise, understanding,
caring, cooperation, love and respect. All these positive
stimulants demand total absence of stress and pressures.
Just as there cannot be light where there is darkness,
in the same way, there cannot be positive stimuli where
there is stress and tension.
The mental and physical capacity of a person is a major
factor to determine his attitude towards work and his
ability to deal with stress. One has to condition the
mind so as not to buckle under pressure.
An easy test is to check if you are retaining your natural
ability to smile and to sleep normally.