Conall

Safety

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Strong safety rules, policies and procedures are integral to incident prevention. While the topic of “rules” isn’t scintillating, it’s extremely important to get it right with procedures. It’s also easy to mess up if you’re not careful. For example, one auto manufacturing facility over-reacted to an employee eye injury by mandating safety glasses in all areas of the plant even where glasses really weren’t needed. This is sometimes called the shotgun effect. Although most employees begrudgingly wore their safety glasses, several employees got creative and popped the lenses out of their safety glasses and simply wore the

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By Eduardo Lan Recognizing employees for the good work they do is a powerful way to strengthen desired behavior. When we are aware of the things people do right and point them out to them, they are more inclined to repeat them. This happens because people feel seen and appreciated, a desire and need for all human beings, and because they can more easily identify said behaviors (2014). When the recognition relates to safety, we are promoting a culture of safety ownership where people work safely out of desire rather than obligation. This is known as discretionary effort, and it represents the

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By Eric Michrowski and Emily Wood We often communicate to employees through trainings, weekly email updates and with posters plastering the walls, that safety must always be our number one priority. But, when our words and actions during times of high pressure emphasize production and on-time performance, the message surrounding safety is lost. It must be acknowledged that production pressure, much like the stress of completing work on time within an office, is inevitable within any industry and cannot be eliminated. However, achieving a balance between production pressure and safety by establishing standard procedures that build a resilient workforce and capture

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Effective and interactive pre-job briefs are an essential way to start the day and keep people safe. Unfortunately, in some organizations, these meetings are simply a “check the box” activity that is repetitive and stale. Field leaders go through the motions and read items off a piece of paper, then quickly get back to work. In other companies, pre-job briefs are robust and interactive. Hourly employees often speak up during these sessions and sometimes lead the meetings. So why do pre-job briefs matter anyway? Throughout the course of any given day, there are a number of unforeseen circumstances that

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By Dr. Josh Williams and Emily Wood Smart safety leadership is critical for exceptional safety performance. There are five core leadership competencies that can help you, as leaders, better reinforce safety excellence and prevent incidents and injuries. Successfully applying the competencies in your everyday work will improve your influence over team activities. This includes shifting the narrative from “safety is managed through enforcement” to “safety is managed through team participation” as employees recognize their why for safety and actively engage in safety efforts. Anchored in years of research and experience, these leadership competencies include: Actively Care, Walk the Talk, Build/Live the

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Close call reporting is a key piece of a robust safety culture. The term often used in safety circles is “near miss” which is a complete misnomer. George Carlin famously joked that two planes almost hitting each other is actually a near hit and that a near miss would technically be an actual collision (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDKdvTecYAM). Tightening up your close call reporting keeps people safe. Organizations with a strong safety culture effectively support reporting near hits to prevent future and more serious reoccurrences. There should be an ongoing, active cycle of reporting close calls, making any system changes for

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