Speak Up for Safety: Using the Power of Conformity

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Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Employees can prevent serious injuries and fatalities by speaking up when they see coworkers operating at-risk. Unfortunately, social norms and pressure may prevent this. Many organizations have created culture that reflect the famous Hank Williams song refrain, “Mind your own business and you won’t be minding mine.” The power of conformity, not speaking up in this case, is powerful. An illustration from social psychology demonstrates this.
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Rewarding employees for a lack of injuries

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By Brie DeLisi

How many times have you seen a sign that says: “XX days since our last injury”? Or a pizza party, awards, or bonuses for no injuries? These celebrations are commonplace at businesses across the world. The original purpose of celebrating a lack of injuries is that it seemingly demonstrates that we kept our employees safe and to keep it up! It is an admirable and noteworthy accomplishment to keep employees safe for a whole year, or even years. However, there is an unintended consequence that has a tendency to rear its ugly head when this is our only form of recognition for safety. Read More...