Safety Culture

Giving better feedback for a safer workplace (part 3)

Feedback and safety Part 3

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

As discussed in
Part 1 of this blog series, feedback is a central component to safety. Conversations about safety are what motivate your people, fuel their growth, guide them in the right direction, inform future behavior, clarify expectations, and help them to attain goals. Although most of us know this from experiencing it in the field firsthand, researchers have shown that safety feedback can save lives. Delivering effective feedback can feel elusive, so check out the second blog in this series to revisit the foundation for providing great safety feedback to your people Part 2. Finally, below are some tips for giving better feedback for a safer workplace: Read More...

What does great safety feedback look like? (part 2)

Feedback and safety Part 2

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Leaders sometimes forget how fundamental it is to provide effective feedback. Fortunately, great feedback is pretty basic. First and foremost — it is specific. It targets someone’s safety behavior and not who they are as a person. For instance, if you tell someone they are too quiet and withdrawn, that is picking at their character (who they are as a person = hard to change) and not at their behavior (easier to change). Instead, you might let them know specifically what behavior they need to improve (“I would really appreciate it if you would speak up in pre-job brief meetings” ). This type of feedback is much less frustrating for the person on the receiving end because they are able to change something specific in order to improve. Second, great feedback includes details on how to develop (e.g., “If you could speak up in pre-job briefs each morning, even if it is just a brief comment that you understand the hazards, didn’t see anything unusual yesterday, and do not have anything else to add” ). It will include coaching that is specific and actionable for what to do in the future. Third, the timing is right. Great feedback doesn’t come a week after an employee does something great or poorly — it is immediate. People are more likely to change their behavior in the future if they receive feedback in close proximity to what they did that needs to change or continue. Fourth, the pace is right. It is not wise to rely on performance appraisal meetings to give feedback. This should be a more frequent process that includes both informal and formal components.
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Feedback and safety: The empirical case (part 1)

Feedback and safety Part 1

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Feedback is a central component to safety. Conversations about safety are what motivate your people, fuel their growth, guide them in the right direction, inform future behavior, clarify expectations, and help them to attain goals. There is no lack of empirical support to illustrate the importance of feedback in the safest workplaces. For instance, an intervention that increased the frequency in which leaders had safety-related interactions and feedback with their employees produced an impressive increase in PPE use (from 25% to 73% after the 8-week experiment) (1). These changes were still present when the researchers went back to the worksite and measured 5 months later, and there was also a significant decrease in injuries. In another study, researchers gave supervisors 2 individualized feedback sessions about how much they integrate safety and productivity-related issues in daily verbal exchanges (and were encouraged to increase the importance of safety messages during daily exchanges) (2). After the 12-week intervention phase, employees reported higher safety climate perceptions and safety behavior.
Read More...

Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 4 of Five-Part Blog Series

Behavior_Optimal Safety Culture

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Forward thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 will be detailed in this 5-part blog series. Parts
one, two and three focused on improving safety leadership, systems, and people factors. In part 4, understanding and improving safety behaviors will be addressed.

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E-Commerce is going to surge this holiday season. Are you thinking about the workers?

E-Commerce is going to surge this holiday season


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Online shopping has become a regular part of the holiday season. It is more convenient than ever to send gifts across the globe from retailers we trust. Recently we have experienced an added benefit to online shopping — social distancing. Now we can rely on home delivery to avoid contact with crowds of people on Black Friday, Super Saturday, Boxing Day, and after Christmas sales. Although this certainly brings a lot of positives, there are important considerations when it comes to occupational safety.

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The Color Psychology of Safety Culture

The color of Safety Culture


By KyoungHee Choi

The color psychology is a fascinating field, deeply rooted in brain activity and human nature. Color psychology is a very important tool not only for safety culture but also for artists, designers and marketers. Color stimulates our brain and from the ancient times has proven to be a useful alternative psychotherapy. A lot of industries use color to drive caution and reduce risks and injuries. When it comes to safety, colors are an important way to communicate hazards to workers. The ANSI (American National Standards Institute) has established rules governing the meaning of specific colors. Standardized safety colors can help people easily recognize and understand the message being conveyed to improve safety.

Read More...

Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 3 of a Five-Part Blog Series

People_Optimal Safety Culture


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Forward thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 will be detailed in this 5-part blog series. In parts
one and two, key recommendations to improve safety leadership and systems were provided. In part 3, strategies to improve people factors for safety are addressed.

Read More...

Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 2 of Five-Part Blog Series

Systems_Optimal Safety Culture


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Forward thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 are detailed in this 5-part blog series. In
part one, ways to improve safety leadership were explored. In Part 2, we’re addressing strategies to improve safety systems.

Read More...

Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 1 of a Five-Part Blog Series

Leadership_Optimal Safety Culture

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Forward thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety culture improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 will be detailed in this 5-part blog series starting with
leadership.

Read More...

Ten Safety Leadership Skills for Success

Ten Safety Leadership Skills for Success

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

There are
fundamental leadership skills leaders need to exhibit to demonstrate genuine “owning it” for safety. These safety leadership skills represent observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities and personal attributes that contribute to increased discretionary effort and improved organizational safety culture. Caring about safety is not enough. Good intentions are put into practice through behaviors and skills. The following ten skills and proficiencies reflect safety leadership best practices.
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Engagement and safety: Are they related?

Engagement and safety Are they related


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Employees are engaged when they feel energized, dedicated to their job, and absorbed in their work (1). Engaged employees give companies a competitive advantage because they are willing to go the extra mile. Engagement researchers have found that employee engagement is associated with less burnout and absenteeism, higher job satisfaction, less turnover, stronger organizational commitment, better job performance, and an improved service climate (2). In addition to the organizational benefits, engaged employees experience health benefits such as lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher levels of perceived physical health, and quicker recovery time from work (3).

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How to promote employee engagement in a safety context

How to promote employee engagement in a safety context

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

An engaged workforce has strong, positive effects on safety. Engaged employees are more willing to go the extra mile and take pride in their work, so it should be a goal for leaders to create an environment for engagement in order to promote a safer workplace. Consider the following when developing your plan to promote employee engagement in a safety context:
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Improving Safety Leadership Through Self-Monitoring

Improving Safety Leadership Through Self-Monitoring

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Self-monitoring is key factor affecting the human dynamics of occupational safety. It’s defined as
one’s motivation and ability to interpret social cues from the environment and respond to those cues in a socially desirable way. Low self-monitors act similarly regardless of the occasion; high self-monitors alter their behavior effectively to fit the particular situation (Snyder, 1974). This has also been referred to as the “if-then behavioral signature” (Geller, 2008).

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Soft Skills Training for Leaders: An Investment in Your Culture

Soft Skills Training for Leaders

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Soft skills training is needed at all leadership levels to improve communication, listening skills, and empathy. It also involves increasing the quality and quantity of safety recognition which is often found to be one of the lower scoring items on our safety culture survey. Increasing recognition improves safety culture and increases the probability of safe work practices in the future. This reduces the risk of serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs).

Read More...

Give them voice and listen: The power of pulse surveys

The power of pulse surveys

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Employees want an active voice in your company, and leadership should be interested in what they have to say. The people are the culture, and it is in the best interest of leadership to know their perspective. Because it is often difficult to touch base with every employee, organizational surveys are a great way to listen more efficiently.

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Safety Role Modeling 101

Safety Role Modeling 101

By Brie DeLisi

“Leadership doesn’t walk the talk” is one of the most common complaints we hear from employees during assessments with organizations that have less mature safety cultures. Many leaders need to understand a couple critical components of their culture if they want to improve safety:
1. Employees are always watching.
2. Actions speak louder than words.
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Promoting a Learning Culture in Challenging Environments

Promoting a Learning Culture in Challenging Environments


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Creating and sustaining a “learning culture” is critical for optimal safety culture and performance. Unfortunately, this can be challenging with organizations that have a history of “old school” cultures. In other cases, new leaders may legitimately need to establish a baseline of accountability to clean up messes created by overly lenient past practices. Overly lenient cultures often result in “looking the other way” and increased risk-taking behavior.
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Crucial factors for a culture of accountability

Crucial factors for a culture of accountability

By Brie DeLisi

One of the main concerns we hear from our clients is that they want their employees to be accountable when it comes to safety – to follow the safety requirements, to own their mistakes, to speak up in unsafe situations, to look for opportunities for improvement, etc. Accountability and safety ownership is, after all, a sign of very mature safety cultures. In these cultures, there are typically fewer injuries and increased levels of productivity.
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Is a fair workplace also a safer workplace?

Is a fair workplace also a safer workplace


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Attitudes influence behavior.

There are a host of reasons as to why justice perceptions should be of concern to companies. They influence the employee experience, the brand, the reputation of the company, and the customer experience. Justice perceptions are also related to important organizational outcomes like job satisfaction, organizational commitment, job performance, citizenship behavior, trust, turnover intentions, health and stress (1,2). This begs the question —
Does the extent to which workers perceive their organization to be fair have a meaningful relationship with occupational safety?
Read More...

The balance between discipline and positive reinforcement in your safety culture

The balance between discipline and positive reinforcement in your safety culture


By Brie DeLisi

In any strong safety culture, both positive recognition and discipline are valuable. However, often organizations find the discipline piece is often considered an ‘easier’ method to drive change. Unfortunately, a focus on discipline without positive reinforcement and recognition will keep an organization at a ‘Compliant’ level of maturity – in which employees will solely focus on how to avoid punishment, rather than owning safety to keep themselves and others injury-free.
Read More...

The Power of Peer Feedback to Prevent SIFs

The Power of Peer Feedback to Prevent SIFs

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Peer-to-peer safety feedback is an integral way to improve safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Unfortunately, employees often fail to speak up when they observe coworkers’ risky behaviors even though they want to. Survey research shows that more than 90% of respondents believe employees
should caution others when they’re operating at-risk. And yet, only 60% say that actually do provide this feedback. Ironically, people underestimate others’ willingness to receive safety feedback. Specifically, 74% of respondents confirm they welcome safety feedback from peers but only 28% believe their coworkers do. This is an enormous misperception that may cost lives. Most SIFs occur with other employees around. If someone had simply spoken up, lives could have been saved.

Read More...

Fires and other natural disasters – are you prepared?

Fires and other natural disasters – are you prepared


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

When it comes to natural disasters, companies with mature safety cultures have robust emergency preparedness plans that are specific to every scenario imaginable. These plans are accompanied by all the resources needed to carry out the action (e.g., training, practice drills, water supply, shelters, power supply).
Read More...

How Are Your Safety Systems? A Short Quiz

How Are Your Safety Systems


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

One of the most important aspects of safety leadership is providing effective safety management systems and a safe work environment. Employees are more likely to be injured if the organization has safety management system failures such as inadequate manpower, unreasonable production pressure, excessive overtime, faulty equipment, insufficient safety training, unclear safety policies, non-existent safety meetings, poor safety communication, and blame-oriented discipline procedures. Leaders improve safety culture by optimizing these key safety management systems:
Read More...

Safe working and job autonomy

Safe working and job autonomy

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Research has shown time and time again that when you give employees more control over their work, they are more satisfied, perform at a higher level, and are safer.

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Be a safety champion – and do it loudly!

Be a safety champion


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

A safety champion embodies the notion that safety comes before everything else. These individuals always have safety on the mind. They understand how safety connects to the big picture both inside and outside of work, and they are the backbone of a strong safety culture. Those who work with a safety champion know it, because it feels like someone always has your back.
Read More...

COVID-19: A catalyst for safety culture change?

A catalyst for safety culture change

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

COVID-19 has changed our way of life inside and outside of work. It has forced us to rethink the way we work and enjoy time off. Businesses have been hit extremely hard, and most have been forced to make fast decisions to protect workers and customers.
Read More...

Can responses to COVID-19 act as a litmus test for safety culture?

a litmus test for safety culture


By Madison Hanscom

The pandemic has created an extremely difficult scenario for many businesses. Amidst the hardship, companies are working to balance the safety of workers and customers along with financial survival. This begs the question — will the way in which a company responds to COVID-19 be a reflection of the safety culture?
Read More...

The Ultimate Safety Change Buy-In Guide

The Ultimate Safety Change Buy-In Guide


By Brie DeLisi

Creating and implementing safety changes in an organization is no easy task. There are so many opportunities for failure – not having a thorough plan, unanticipated roadblocks, a lack of resources, ill-suited programs and procedures. Even if all of those items are covered, the most impactful is whether or not there is buy in from the greater employee population. Below, we’ll cover tips on how to generate employee buy-in when making changes to organizational safety.
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You have solid planning and procedures. Does that mean your safety culture change efforts will be successful?

Does that mean your safety culture change efforts will be successful


By Madison Hanscom and Brie DeLisi

When it comes to occupational safety, planning and procedures are incredibly important. They may be a legal requirement in some respects, and they also provide a guideline for the workforce to be aligned on mission, goals, and activities.
Read More...

Increasing Employee Safety Commitment: Considerations for Leaders

Increasing Employee Safety Commitment


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Effective leaders continuously look for ways to increase employee safety commitment. Employees who feel committed to the organization are more likely to work safely, caution others for safety, and get actively involved in safety efforts. Those who aren’t committed rarely go beyond the call of duty for safety or anything else. In fact, they may have more serious issues such as non-compliance, absenteeism/tardiness, and confrontations with others. Organizational commitment consists of (Saal & Knight,1995):
Read More...

A Safety Leadership Quiz: How Well Do You Stack Up?

How Well Do You Stack Up

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Previous blogs have addressed numerous ways leaders need to “show up” for safety. Unfortunately, leaders sometimes inadvertently encourage at-risk behavior by failing to praise safe behaviors, ignoring at-risk behaviors, over-emphasizing production, and modeling risky behaviors. Here’s a quick summary:
Read More...

Why are your employees not reporting near misses?

employees not reporting near misses


By Brie DeLisi


Most industrial organizations have implemented some form of near miss, close call or observation program – whether it is a top-of-the-line app that make reporting a breeze, to paper forms that can be dropped in a box. While completely different methodologies, both will either succeed or fail based on the same factors.
Read More...

Organizational Learning and Occupational Safety

Organizational Learning


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

The world is changing, and it is vital to prioritize organizational learning both during times of adjustment and during sustainment periods. Exemplar knowledge sharing and learning are critical components in leading a successful business, and it is also a determinant in leading a safe one.
Read More...

What is the best way to handle unsafe behavior?

What is the best way to handle unsafe behavior

By Brie DeLisi

“Hey! what the $@&* do you think you’re doing?!” or perhaps someone just sneaks a picture of an unsafe behavior and reports it through the official reporting chain. How we handle unsafe behavior directly reflects where the safety culture is from a maturity perspective. So, what are the different ways that organizations can handle unsafe behavior and what does that mean for the culture?
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Setting the Right G.O.A.L.S. for Safety

Setting the Right GOALS for Safety


By Josh Williams, Ph. D.

Leaders need to make sure they set intelligence safety goals to improve performance and prevent SIFs. Proper goal setting helps field leaders and employees understand the value of a unified greater purpose. They also set objective, actionable behaviors which should be integrated into daily activities. Research demonstrates that there is a statistically significant reduction in injuries when leaders effectively articulate a compelling vision and inspire employees to work towards goals that meet that mission (Hoffmeister et al., 2014). Also, a 10% improvement in employee’s understanding of organizational values and goals results in a 12.7% reduction in safety incidents (Gallup, 2017). The G.O.A.L.S. acronym is a helpful heuristic to set smart safety goals for the organization. Safety goals should have these elements:
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Sit or Stand? Experimental Research Findings on Sit-Stand Desks


sit and stand

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

An interesting study was published recently in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology exploring the effects of standing desks. Employees who worked in sedentary jobs were randomly assigned to a control group (no change in their usual behavior) or an intervention group (were provided with adjustable sit-stand desks and instructions on how to use them).

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How to reduce customer anxiety in car sales

contactless car sales

By Julia Borges

Purchasing a vehicle is always a big deal. From deciding between various vehicle options to filling out all necessary paperwork, it can certainly cause a fair amount of anxiety for customers. Financing or leasing a car has always been viewed as a long, tedious process with many steps that will most likely keep customers there for the majority of their day – and in some cases, can even take multiple days.

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Returning to a Safe and Healthy Office Work Environment Blog Series: Office Environment Setup

Office Environment Setup

By Brie DeLisi

Many of us are in the process of shifting back into office environments or considering the appropriate next steps for a safe return to the office. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that can be taken for the physical work environment to ensure employees are kept as safe and healthy as possible. The purpose of these physical work environment adjustments is to ensure employees can be properly distanced to avoid COVID exposures the air and that shared resources limit surface exposures. Considerations should include employee distancing, space resourcefulness, adding structures, air ventilation, shared resources and sanitation.
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RIP Paul O’Neill: Safety Champion

Paul O’Neill

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

The world lost a great safety champion last week in former Treasury Secretary and Alcoa Chairman and CEO Paul O’Neill. O’Neill was a fierce advocate of employee safety and took big risks (and won!) going “all in” on injury prevention. He took the bold step of saying there were no budget constraints for safety at Alcoa, even if that meant lost revenue and an unhappy Board of Directors.
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How a Strong Safety Climate Makes a Difference During a Pandemic

crisis_management


By Madison Hanscom

Safety climate is a shared perception that employees have regarding the relative importance of safe conduct in their workplace. This includes the procedures, policies, routines, and behaviors that get rewarded or the behaviors that are expected (1). It is widely understood there are a great deal of benefits associated with having a strong safety climate. A strong safety climate is associated with higher morale, less accidents, stronger safety motivation, more safety behaviors from employees, and so on (2,3). A less visible (yet still important) benefit of having a strong safety climate is the potential to protect workers and the general public from a viral outbreak. Read More...

COVID-19 in the Construction Industry – Managing Distancing from a Work Perspective

large-construction-site-cranes-and-scaffolding


By Eric Johnson

As calls for distancing continue to increase in both social environments and working environments, social behaviors can adapt relatively quickly to increasing distance, but work environments can pose challenges. The cases of the latter can involve situations that require the presence of employees in a mandatory way and/or in a teamwork environment. In the case of construction, we look at several types of organizations in the construction industry and how the COVID-19 recommended social distancing will affect both the organization and the business.
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COVID-19, Leadership, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslows-Hierarchy-Of-Needs


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

One of the most well-known models in social psychology is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This simple classification of human needs, introduced by Abraham Maslow in 1943, outlines intrinsic human motivation (see diagram). Read More...

Is your remote workforce prepared for COVID-19 cybersecurity threats?

technology safety

By Martin Royal

While taking care of our health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis is the priority, many will find themselves working remotely for the first time and might face other potential threats: cybersecurity threats.
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Mutual Safety: why we need to lookout for one another

Doctor taking prescription


By: Julia Borges, M.A.

What is mutual safety?

As the number of confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus continues to climb, people all over the world are preparing for its impacts. Some are stocking up on food, others are working from home, and some are choosing to self-isolate. Self-isolation is one of the most important steps we can take to slow the spread of this virus – and it’s not just for our own safety, it’s also for the safety of others. This is what we call mutual safety. In the case of this pandemic, it is when two or more parties take actions, such as self-isolation, to keep themselves and others from contracting the virus. Mutual safety is when we look beyond ourselves and take actions that increase the safety of others. Read More...

Beware of the Blanket Policy

safety-glasses


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Organizational leaders are understandably frustrated sometimes when employees are injured on the job. Of course, their primary concern is the well-being of the affected individual. However, they may also feel like they have policies in place which, if followed, would have prevented the incident. This leads to a common occurrence where an injury is almost immediately followed by a new rule or blanket policy that applies to everyone. Sometimes these policies make great sense as people were unaware of a risk. It may even save a life. Too often, however, these policies are applied poorly and don’t apply beyond the specific area or job where the incident occurred. This leads to irritation and, occasionally, odd responses. Read More...

The relationship between safety culture and lean manufacturing

image002


By Brie DeLisi

In many organizations safety and operational excellence are two separate functions, any overlap is deemed coincidental. However, these two functions are incredibly interrelated when it comes to the actual practice and the related values. At the most foundational level, lean processes and safety culture both rely on the same thing: the employees.

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Safety Prioritization and the effects on safety culture

image001


By Brie DeLisi

Most organizations believe that by having ‘safety’ as a company value and conducting annual safety training is sufficient to drive the message that safety matters. At Propulo, we’ve heard time and time again that “it goes without saying” and “employees know that safety matters” when we ask about a lack of safety conversations. However, the human brain doesn’t quite work like that – the brain prefers to prioritize what is considered important. Read More...

Speak Up for Safety: Using the Power of Conformity

care-and-speaking-up-for safety


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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The Power of the Mind: Using Cognitive Psychology to Prevent SIFs

human-brain-and-worker

Josh Williams, Ph.D.

According to OSHA, more than 14 people die on the job every day and most of these occur in high risk work environments.1 Specifically, 21% of all workplace fatalities in the U.S. occurred with construction workers, there were more than 1500 deaths in the oil and gas industry over the last decade, and recent studies show utilities are becoming the highest risk industry for SIFs.2-4 Something needs to be done to prevent these serious injuries and fatalities from occurring.


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How does your emergency preparedness reflect on your safety culture?

Crates on fire burning


By Brie DeLisi

At Propulo, we understand that emergency preparedness is one of the most important indicators of organizational safety culture maturity. Emergency preparedness includes several aspects including:
- Identification of risks (fire, medical, natural disasters, loss of power, security, etc.)
- Written plans to address those risks with actionable items
- Conducting drills of those plans and testing systems
- Applying continuous improvement to update and validate the plans when gaps are exposed

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The “Shocking” Power of Leadership

electricity



By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

In of the most famous psychological experiments in history, Stanley Milgram set up a situation in which participants believed they were providing electric shock to a perfect stranger (who was actually a paid actor) as part of a study on memory and learning. Participants were told to shock the person, who was in another room, when he or she gave incorrect answers to various word pair questions. In some cases, the actor made a point to say he had a heart condition. Read More...

Recessions and Safety


recession and safety



By Eric Johnson

One of the biggest challenges to developing a robust safety culture we find is built around the value of safety. Unless you are Apple, corporate resources are often quite limited and have competing interests tugging at them, all while trying to demonstrate the best return on equity. Those projects/processes/activities that are best quantifiable are often the first to receive the benefit of resources. Read More...

The Value of Mentoring in Safety

safety mentorship



By Eric Johnson

When our organization engages clients, one of the first steps we perform in our assessments centers around establishing a baseline regarding the safety culture climate within the organization at all levels. These questions center around elements such as “What is the overall view of safety within the organization?”; “How do employees react to injuries – both to themselves and to others?”; “How does safety messaging impact employees”. The answers to these questions often depend on both the current safety climate but also historical data. Within the conversational aspect of our assessments, we often come across a common theme that can enhance and support a growing safety culture – the component of mentoring within safety. Read More...

Safety at the Front-Line

safety


By Eric Johnson

“Why can’t my employees just work safer?” is a question we hear again and again when interacting with senior-level and mid-level leadership. “Management simply doesn’t know what we are dealing with” rebuts front-line employees. And indeed, both are partially correct. It’s this middle ground where an established safety culture can take root.

Safety focus is not independent of other aspects of the organization, but can enhance or detract the work experience depending on the engagement of the front-line – an engagement that can be supported by management Read More...

Operations and Non-Serious Injuries

danger-high-voltage-warning-sign-with-black-and-yellow-hazard-stripes


By Eric Johnson

One of the biggest elements of a good safety program is the ability of employees to feel free to both own their safety to protect themselves from hazards and to then report safety incidents, close calls, as they happen within the workplace. Within groups that exhibit private compliance and higher maturities, the workforce feels comfortable and duty-oriented to enforce safety. But as we all know, safety is a journey, not a destination, and elements of a safety culture can quickly erode if not deliberately maintained. Read More...

Caring vs. Compliance: The Secret Sauce to Improve Safety Culture

safety-concept

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Organizational leaders make two common errors when trying to improve safety performance and culture. First, they overemphasize safety statistics to the point that employees believe the safety “numbers” trump genuine caring about their well-being. Second, they stress compliance with rules to the point that employees may feel like their job is to avoid breaking any rules so they don’t get fired. Clearly, rules compliance and safety statistics are important. However, leaders should spend more time showing genuine caring for employees. This is an investment in your people as well as your culture. Increasing active caring increases the probability of safe work practices and a corresponding reduction in serious injuries and fatalities.

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Beware of Incentives: When Good Intentions Go Wrong


Icy sidewalk

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

For years, organizational leaders have used incentives to try and motivate safety. The rationale is that providing financial rewards for not getting hurt will get employees to “try harder” to stay safe. In reality, it simply encourages non-reporting which is why OSHA now frowns upon outcome-based incentives. It can also create other problems. Read More...

Rewarding employees for a lack of injuries

Days since injury-2


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...

Downsizing and the impact on employees

Empty Boardroom table with chairs

By Brie DeLisi and Kelly Cave

The term “downsizing” is enough to make anyone’s brain enter into a tailspin – Am I going to be fired? Will this affect me? How will this affect my job? My family? When is it going to happen? What am I going to do? Read More...

The ‘Lumberjack’

Lumberjack

By Eric Michrowski

We’ve all seen it or heard the stories. Someone claims to have been injured and seeks benefits. Or someone that is always off with “injuries”. I’ve heard all of them over the years including a worker that was injured over 35 times in a 20-year career! Injury-prone or are these signs of something more? Read More...

The Hidden Costs of Disengagement

image001

By Kelly Cave and Brie DeLisi

Imagine having a job that makes you feel excited to go to work every day. When you get to work, you feel highly energized and identify strongly with the work you are doing. Now, on the flip side, imagine having a job that makes you dread going into work every day. This job feels like it is sapping your energy, and you spend your days counting down the hours and minutes until you get to go home. Which of these jobs would you rather have?
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Mindfulness and the workplace

Nature - stones on the water

By Melanie Kramer, Steph Andel and Brie DeLisi


What is mindfulness?



Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., the man credited for inventing the fundamental of mindfulness, describes it as the moment to moment, non-judgmental awareness. In other words, by paying attention in the present moment without reacting or judging (13). Even more simply, it is noticing what is happening while it is happening. Kabat-Zinn (13) argues that the greater the mindfulness, the greater the awareness (and thus insight) that may stem from it. Read More...

New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day….“Safety Break for Oregon” Day

mining

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

We’re all accustomed to annual days meant to celebrate important people in our lives. We have Valentine’s Day tomorrow which will soon be followed by Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and (don’t forget) Secretary’s Day. Another important day to celebrate is the “Safety Break for Oregon” day on May 8. This is an annual safety day established sixteen years ago by OSHA Oregon. Basically, it’s a safety stand-down for the entire state! Read More...

Close Call Reporting: Don’t Sweep Things Under the Rug


airport from above

By Brie DeLisi and Josh Williams



Does your organization promote a culture of reporting or a fear of punishment surrounding close call events? Recently an air traffic controller in Switzerland was actually convicted in Swiss court for reporting a near miss...
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Safe production as an assessment lens

safety worker

By Brie DeLisi

As an organizational leader, you might be interested in understanding the current state of the safety program for any number of reasons, whether it be to address incidents or injury rates, comply with regulations or company requirements, or because you’ve determined that a strong safety program is necessary. Read More...

Lessons Learned from Mining, Refining and the Cleveland Browns

workers at plant_Fotor (2)


By Josh Williams

With apologies to our friends in Ohio, the Cleveland Browns professional football team has been historically bad for decades. Their record over the last 10 years is 48-122 (31st out of 32 teams in winning percentage). It was recently announced they will be looking for a new head coach to change their culture and start winning more games. Surely change is needed to reverse their losing ways, right? Read More...