Conall

Employee Engagement

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Over the last few years, we’ve been hearing over and over how hard it is to find high-quality employees for physically taxing jobs. In some cases, it’s difficult for employers to substantially raise wages and stay competitive. This leaves them in a position where candidate pools have shrunk and, in many cases, people applying for jobs have little hands-on experience. “We’re hiring people who don’t know how to use a shovel.” This creates insufficient personnel and the people that you do have are often stretched thin, which leads to a host of complications that compromise safety like

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By Julia Beckel Due to the dispersed nature of their work, lone workers are largely responsible for their own health and safety, and often are needed to assess and identify a variety of occupational hazards such as heat exhaustion, fatigue, and environmental distractions. While modern research has shown a number of mechanisms for supporting the health and safety of traditional workforces, organizations are increasingly tasked with understanding how to translate these support systems for their dispersed workforce.   A particularly relevant challenge is how to extend and promote a strong safety culture among workers who are not co-located – keeping mobile

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. One of the most important aspects of safety leadership is optimizing safety systems to prevent risky actions and incidents. Employees are more likely to be injured when leaders fail to address system gaps like inadequate personnel, 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: ·      Close Call Reporting: Near-miss reporting should be encouraged from a learning culture perspective. Close calls help people learn from each other to prevent serious injuries and

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. We have worked with numerous organizations over the years to re-create or re-energize their behavior-based safety (BBS) programs. Several years ago, a leading manufacturing company asked us to revamp their program. Despite early success, their process had devolved into a “pencil whipping” exercise with an overly long checklist that people didn’t want to fill out. There was also an absence of effective safety feedback following observations and insufficient follow-up with identified concerns (“black hole”). This is typical of most clients reaching out to us to improve their BBS program. We started fresh by discarding the lengthy behavioral

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Several years ago, we were asked to work with a leading manufacturing company to assess their human performance (HP) and safety culture practices. Although they had high executive safety commitment and numerous progressive HP programs, they wanted to level up their performance. We partnered with them to identify strengths to reinforce and gaps to address to help optimize their safety processes and culture. The first step in these improvement efforts involved the creation of a highly customized survey to assess specific safety culture and process safety efforts. Tailored interview and focus group questions were also created to get

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Create a poster campaign with small rewards to raise safety awareness in a fun, fresh way.  Safety initiatives that include employee participation help develop a stronger safety culture and increase operational performance. Strive for more than just compliance – make safety personal, so that people are using their better judgement to make safe decisions instead of just following orders. How do you make safety personal? One simple way is to use employees’ own words and images. Make posters! Giving employees the opportunity to create their own safety posters makes them more likely to care about the posters and the messages

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