Conall

Safety

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Early last year, we began working with a fleet-related company to conduct a comprehensive safety culture assessment. Despite a very strong commitment from their COO, they faced a number of challenges that impacted their safety culture. This included extremely high turnover, excessive time pressure, and insufficient safety ownership. They had recently experienced several fatalities, and their accreditation status was in jeopardy. After conducting a kickoff session with key stakeholders, we conducted a series of assessment activities, including a safety culture survey, 50+ onsite interviews and focus groups, safety artifact reviews, and onsite observations. Once done, we provided

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Decades of research show that IQ is one of the best predictors of success for organizational leaders. This should be no surprise since strong analytical skills are needed to deal with numerous competing challenges at higher organizational levels. However, EQ, or emotional intelligence quotient, may be equally important. One study showed that 71% of executives value EQ over IQ with their leaders (https://www.careerbuilder.ca), and another showed that 93% of employees said they’d remain loyal to an employer whose leaders show genuine concern for their well-being (https://hcamag.com). So, what is emotional intelligence? EQ reflects our ability to recognize our

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. In late 2021, we began working with a leading chemical manufacturing company to revamp their behavior-based safety (BBS) program. This organization has a strong safety culture and emphasizes safety as a core value. However, their BBS program had grown stale. This was due to an overly long checklist and overemphasis on quotas which led to “pencil whipping” cards and very negative perceptions of the program. Recognizing these limitations, we worked with EHS leaders to create an entirely new BeHOP® process which combined the best elements of both Behavior-Based Safety and Human and Organizational Performance. One of the

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Last week, the G.O.A.T. of college football coaches, Nick Saban, retired as the head football coach at Alabama. Whether or not you’re a fan of Saban (or the Crimson Tide), it’s clear that he is truly the greatest of all time. Saban had an 88% winning percentage at Alabama in the toughest conference in college football. He also won 7 national championships, more than any other college coach in history. In paying tribute to Saban, it’s important to understand that great leadership takes many forms. Lessons learned from sports apply to the world of safety. It takes

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. For more than 25 years, I’ve heard senior leaders speak passionately about having zero incidents. This is often done with heartfelt messages and personal commitments to make it happen. This is a good thing in many ways: It’s aspirational to strive for zero incidents. This fosters a mindset of internal control and taking charge of your own destiny, which should be reinforced by leadership. This often leads to the development of leading indicators like leader time in the field and action items completed (from worker feedback) to prevent incidents. Incidents typically drop if proper actions are taken on the front end. However,

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By Josh Williams, Ph. D. Much of the focus on improving organizational safety today focuses on influencing safety behaviors (e.g., Behavior-Based Safety) and improving organizational systems to reduce human error (e.g., Human Performance). These are both critically important to advance safety culture and prevent serious incidents and fatalities. But what about employee safety attitudes? During training sessions, I’ve often asked employees to tell me which of the following is most important with their coworkers: experience, intelligence, or attitude. Initially, I expected that most employees, especially those with more tenure, would tell me “experience.” However, employees have overwhelmingly said “attitude” regardless of their

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