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Safety Culture

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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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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