August 2016 - The Service Council

A Deeper Dive into Service Worker Safety

By Sumair Dutta | Perspective | No Comments

I’m not on Facebook, but apparently this picture has been making the rounds.

Source: Photo taken by Andrea Adams and posted on (Link)

Source: Photo taken by Andrea Adams and posted on (Link)

It shows how field workers quite often go above and beyond to get things done.In Jimmie Cox’s on words, “In this line of work, people do it a lot.”

A month ago, we spoke about the need for an Open Office for Field Service Professionals. The idea of this was to allow for better communication and improved connections between field service workers. The intent here was to drive better customer results. However, we discussed the need to foster an open office to make field service safer. And by worker safety, we’re not only talking about physical safety, we’re also talking about the emotional well-being of service workers who are often isolated in the work that they do. These workers can go days without seeing another organization representative.

Some interesting statistics on worker safety and well-being:

  • Research by the National Safety Council (June 2016) indicates that a third of American workers believe that their employers prioritize productivity over safety. The research goes on to say that those in high-risk jobs are often afraid to report safety-related issues
  • According to the Center for Disease Control’s study on suicide rates between 2010-2012: “Other occupations that carried significantly higher-than-normal rates of suicide included construction and extraction, with 53 suicides per 100,000; and installation, maintenance and repair with 48 suicides per 100,000.”

We need to talk about worker safety in service. It needs to be front and center.The Service Council and several member organizations are getting together to discuss worker safety and well-being via a series of forums:

  1. IdeaShare Workshop and Roundtable featuring KONE, MasTec and RK Mechanical (August 30, 2016 at 1pm – Contact me to participate)
  2. The Service Council Symposium (Sept 12- 14 in Chicago) – Session on Safety featuring KONE, RK Mechanical, and Ledcor Systems (September 12, 2016 at 2:45pm, Learn more and Register)
  3. Smarter Services Webcast featuring TSC members. (October 13, 2016 at 11am Eastern – Contact me to participate)

On our homepage we will also be publishing:

  1. Summary report from our IdeaShare discussion on worker safety. (See summary on driver safety here)
  2. Community articles and Audio interviews from members of our community
  3. The Safety report in service (to be published in December 2016)

The intent of these discussions is to focus on the following topics:

  1. The state of safety
  2. Building the business case for safety
  3. The various components of safety
  4. Best practices in improving safety
  5. The KPIs of safety
  6. The technology of improving safety
  7. Global safety policy
  8. The ROI of safety

We are not experts in safety. Yet, we have a number of experts in our community and our plan is to bring their ideas and strategies to the forefront. If you would like to get involved, you can choose to join the individual sessions outlined above. You may also contact me ( to get involved across all projects.

It’s a Small, Small World….

By Sumair Dutta | Perspective | No Comments

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to hear Doug Lipp speak at and close an event that I was running. A closing keynote is always a pretty tough spot as attendees are anxious to get going. They’ve been learning and networking for 2-3 days and those emails and calls that have been on hold are becoming a little more frantic.

Doug was excellent. Not only did he have everyone’s complete attention throughout the session, but he also had everyone on their feet at the end. It was, and still is, one of the best closing keynotes that I have ever seen at an event. Personally, several of Doug’s life lessons resonate with me to this day.

An interesting thing about being in the world of service and customer management is that excellent service typically leads to a happy customer waiting for the opportunity to work with you again. I was happy after Doug’s session, and I continued to look for opportunities to work with Doug again.

Well, it is a small world, as my work has found me leading another customer-service focused event. This time, its The Service Council’s 5th Smarter Services Symposium, taking place in Chicago this September (12-14 at the Swissotel – Homepage, Agenda, Register). And guess what? Doug Lipp is speaking, this time as the opening keynote. The title of his session is “Its a Small, Small World: The Globe is Shrinking. Is Your Business Expanding?”. Doug’s presentation will touch on supporting a globally diverse set of customers with a globally diverse set of employees.

Here’s a brief introduction from Doug himself:

I can’t wait. See you in 4 weeks in Chicago.

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