Rules are so easy to make. So easy that they proliferate and the safety offices that produce them are often accused of being a “Rule Mill” because they continuously produce their “rules-of-the month”. Why do we create so many rules? Most, if not all, of us don’t like rules that become overly restrictive. Our employees are the same way.
Instead, employees prefer discretion over the way they do their tasks. And, to be frank with you, without this discretion employees cannot help you find new ways to do their tasks safely.
Rules are designed to keep us safe and are made by well-meaning folks thinking through potential risks in the face of hazards. In the end, rules are good for all of us. So the pertinent question is “how do we get people to follow the rules?”