Mike Mullane used to work as a United States astronaut. Currently, he is making big steps into helping his fellow by helping them in health and safety audit of work places that are hazardous.
Colonel Mullane is a retired USAF and used has been in a number of Apollo missions as well as boarded other shuttles while he was still an astronaut.
He has been vocal about his work as an astronaut and he has also written about it as it involved a lot on his part – challenge, fear, triumph, pressure as well as the reward thereafter. Many look upon him as a hero because of his former job.
The unfortunate happened in 1986 when he witnessed the explosion of the Challenger shuttle as it takes off. On board were seven of his colleagues whom he considered as good friends.
After the incident, he has been vocal about the importance of employees doing what they feel is right especially if they have an intuition that something is not right or the safety procedure was not followed correctly, it does not matter if it’s a big deviation or small. This act of his has annoyed NASA a number of times.
On Monday, Mullane visited the staff of Refining NZ at Whangarei in order to talk about the importance of workers to confidently take a stand and stop ongoing work with authority if they know they are working in a hazardous environment.
Mullane said that it is common for employees to deviate from operational practices because they deemed it as a small thing and it has been a part of a routine. He called the habit as normalized deviation.
Refining NZ has already put in place a stop work order all throughout their site which gives authorization to any employee in case needed.
According to Sjoerd Post, chief executive, they have tried the system and it works for them. Workers now have the right to intervene since they are backed by the people up high.
Mullane was invited by the refinery to discuss more about health and safety audit inside the workplace and he talked about normalized deviation and how it has affected a lot of working environment.