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Reducing SIFs

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Safety leadership can be tricky. Smart leaders regularly review safety incidents as an opportunity to make process and system improvements for future prevention. Staying on top of incident trends is smart business. However, there seems to be a growing obsession with TRIR rates among North American organizations. Almost without fail, leaders will provide us detailed descriptions of monthly incident rate fluctuations. In fact, we are often contacted because of recent spikes in recordables. Here’s the problem. There is natural variation in incident occurrence. For instance, you may be managing safety poorly but still have reasonable outcome numbers for

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Organizational leaders are often looking for “the next big thing” when it comes to safety improvement. This is good! We should all be striving for continuous improvement. Unfortunately, we may abandon lessons learned from the past in search of future improvement. For many years, Tiger Woods famously revamped his near-perfect swing in search of perfection. This resulted in a major slowdown in his collection of major championships. For all leaders, it is important to build on past successes when implementing new improvement efforts. For many years, cognitive approaches were used to influence employee attitudes for safety. Recent developments

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. The Challenge Although workplace incident rates have steadily declined by 28% over the last decade, rates for serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs) have remained virtually unchanged.1 Further, organizations often focus on “recordables” without adequately addressing, prioritizing, and communicating about incidents (and close calls) with SIF potential. As an example, someone spraining an ankle falling 20 feet from a telephone line is quite different than the same person doing so stepping out of a truck. Leaders need to reorient their thinking regarding SIFs. Recordables and first-aids should continue to be monitored, addressed, and discussed. However, overemphasizing these metrics does a

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By Eric Michrowski and Dr. Josh Williams, Propulo Consulting Too Many People Are Dying on the Job: Will a Focus on ESG Help Reverse this Trend? Larry Fink’s annual letter to CEOs has been observed and assessed in Boardrooms across America for many years. As BlackRock’s CEO, he steers an $8tn-plus financial behemoth, a major shareholder in most big companies around the world, that has the capacity to move markets and influence Corporate strategy. This year, Larry’s letter points a very clear focus on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) themes, steering BlackRock into greener waters. While his poignant letter primarily focuses on

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. We are continually asked by leaders some variant of the question below: “We provide all the PPE and safety policies for our employees and they still get hurt. What else can we do?” One way to address this issue to use the HAT principle which involves Hearing your people, Addressing their concerns, and Telling everyone improvements you’ve made based on their feedback. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, many leaders have not fostered a learning environment within their organizations. Getting and using employee feedback is simply not a cultural norm. As a result, important organizational decisions are often made in a

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By Dr. Josh Williams & Eric Michrowski Recently, on the Safety Guru Podcast, we identified our Top 21 predictions on what to look out for in Safety in 2021. Our list is based on emerging themes in all our interactions with senior leaders. We’ve republished the high-level themes regarding Safety's Top 21 for 2021 in this article, and encourage you to listen to our podcast for more details. Safety’s Top 21 for 2021 1. Mergers and Acquisitions: As the pace of mergers and acquisitions is likely to pick up in 2021, there will be increased attention on integrating Safety Cultures and conducting Safety

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