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Safety Culture

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 in this article and encourage you to listen to our podcast for more details. 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 Culture due diligence, something that isn’t sufficiently front row center

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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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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Safety is too often viewed as a heavy anvil we’re dragging along in our work activities. Comments like, “we’ve got to do a safety meeting” or “we’ve got to attend safety training” reflect this. Even discussions of safety performance can be cumbersome when graph after graph is shown of LTA, TRIR and other rates without real, human discussions. The result is that safety begins to feel like a grind… a hassle…. a necessary evil. Having some fun with safety will help. We’ve seen innovative programs by progressive organizations who find new ways interject some life into safety efforts.

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By Dr. Josh Williams  In 2009, Sandra Bullock played Leigh Ann Touhy in the popular film, “The Blind Side.” The movie was based on her family’s adoption of Michael Oher, an eventual Super Bowl champion who played nearly a decade in the NFL and made more than $32 million. The story begins with Touhy spotting Oher, who was shivering in the rain at night without enough clothes to stay warm or a place to sleep. She offers to let him sleep on their couch – beginning a series of events that ultimately leads to the Touhy family adopting Oher. The story

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation in judgement in which individuals create their own subjective reality that don’t always align with reality. This leads to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, and illogical interpretation of events (Haselton et. al., 2005). In a nutshell, cognitive biases hinder clear thinking and promote risk-taking behavior. Examples may include not tying off at certain heights, entering a confined space area without proper PPE, and grinding without a face shield. The question is why do people ever take these risks? Understanding cognitive biases helps individuals be more mindful of their actions and avoid safety

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By Brie DeLisi When an incident occurs or a particularly hazardous situation is discovered, who participates in remedying the situation? If the safety representative and the supervisor are the only participants, you may want to reconsider your approach to be more collaborative in order to reduce rework, future injuries and creating additional hazards. Who should be included? For starters, there should be a cross-functional team with representation from anyone who interacts with the hazard and anyone who might have insight into the hazard. The purpose of including this range of individuals is to gain as much perspective as possible. Each member should bring

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