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Culture Change

By Eric Michrowski The true implication for an organization that isn’t seeking every opportunity to learn is to accept to operate with a certain level of ignorance. Such comfort with organizational ignorance is one of the biggest barriers to success for businesses and is particularly dangerous when it comes to organizational safety. Companies need to, without compromise, learn from small events, near misses and injuries in order to systematically remove potential risks and reduce SIF potential. This is why leading organizations work to create an environment where workers are comfortable reporting close calls and incidents.  By focusing on using near misses and even

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Many years ago, we visited an Ohio steel mill to conduct safety culture training for hourly employees. To our surprise, people were excited to see us and anxious to get started on the training. This is not always the case with an 8-hour safety training class. I asked one employee why people seemed so enthusiastic and he replied, “30 minutes with Bob!” A Case Study in Smart Leadership: “30 minutes with Bob!” “30 minutes with Bob” was a program implemented by their new plant manager (named Bob). He replaced the outgoing plant manager who was recently fired. His predecessor was

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By Josh Williams, Ph. D. A recent incident at the Cleveland Medical Center got national attention when a patient was given the wrong kidney during an operation. Two hospital staff were removed from their jobs pending an investigation.1 Some may applaud this action as frustration mounts with ongoing reports of human error in the medical community. So, the question is: Is firing people really the answer? In a previous blog, empirical evidence demonstrated the benefits of human performance (HP) tools to minimize human error and reduce: Communication breakdownsOperating delaysPost-operative complicationsOverall mortality and morbidity rates The same benefits from HP that help patients also apply to health

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By Eduardo Lan As a safety leadership and culture consultant with Propulo Consulting, I am often asked by our clients to focus our efforts on the workforce to support them in shifting their safety mindset and behaviors. The logic behind this approach is based on the belief that changing how workers work will solve the problem. This approach is useful, but doesn’t always work long term, particularly if workers’ actions and behaviors are being driven by external forces, such as organizational culture, systems, and leadership.  Building a worldclass safety culture has everything to do with how leaders show up and choose to lead. It is leaders

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. It’s tough being a new employee. There are procedures to learn, relationships to build, and new skills to figure out. On top of that, many jobs are full of hidden (and not so hidden) hazards that make people nervous. Proper onboarding helps acclimate new hires to their novel environment. Supplementing your safety onboarding with a formalized “buddy for a week” program accelerates this acclimation and gets employees up to speed more quickly and more safely.    Real-life example:  To formalize mentoring with new hires, an energy company in Tennessee implemented a “buddy for a week” system. Essentially, experienced employees (with high job knowledge and

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By Eric Michrowski Speaking up saves lives. Looking back on the series of events that led to an incident, most people will recall something “off” – a gut feeling that they shouldn’t have proceeded as normal. Unfortunately, people usually don’t feel comfortable raising issues or sharing bad news. One of the most critical levers for leaders to drive is increasing team members’ comfort with speaking up, stopping work, and escalating issues. Feeling comfortable enough to raise issues without fear of negative repercussions is also referred to as psychological safety. Leaders often inadvertently encourage their teams to get the job done at all costs by praising a rapid

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