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Safety Communication

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Improving supervisory safety leadership is critical for safety culture advancement. And to be sure, being in a supervisory role is one of the toughest jobs in organizational settings. And one of the most important when it comes to safety. The term “where the rubber meets the road” is often applied to this level of leadership because supervisors carry out the vision and directives from senior leaders but also manage the difficult day-to-day challenges with front-line employees doing the work. For years, we have talked about the dangers of old-school leadership. Decades ago, the norm for field leaders was

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By Eduardo Lan I often hear clients complain about workers' lack of engagement. It is not uncommon to hear comments like, “we ask them for their feedback and opinions, but they hardly speak up,” “it's like pulling teeth” or “we are afraid to ask them because we´ll get a laundry list of complaints.” Never for a moment do they stop to consider that the problem with communication might have more to do with how they listen than with what workers say. There are many benefits to effective listening. According to the article “Are you Really Listening?”, “When leaders listen in focused, attentive,

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By Eduardo Lan Raising safety awareness is essential to getting frontline workers to work safely and speak up whenever they encounter an unsafe condition. It is also necessary to generate a strong safety culture where workers actively care for each other and warn their peers when they see them taking an unnecessary risk. However, this level of safety awareness does not usually come naturally to people. As I wrote in my recent blog post “Start With Your Why For Safety”, people aren’t born thinking safety is important. Thus, we need others, typically our leaders, to help us awaken to this importance. Unfortunately, many

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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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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Improving safety culture requires time, effort, persistence and intelligence. Leaders often do a tremendous job of instilling safety values with employees despite organizational headwinds like production pressure, under staffing, insufficient funding for safety improvements, and poorly conceived incentives. However, leaders sometimes make mistakes in their efforts to improve safety culture and performance. A few examples and lessons learned are provided below as cautionary tales to avoid. 1. Busy leaders sometimes fail to walk the talk for safety which sets the tone for the rest of the organization. Ideally, leaders set the right examples by role modeling positive safety

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