Conall

Safety

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Safety leadership can be tricky. Conscientious leaders regularly review safety incidents but often fail to distinguish between more minor incidents and those that can kill you. The primary focus is often “on the numbers,” especially when bonuses are tied to recordable rates. This can result in smaller incidents (tick bites) being blown out of proportion and very serious incidents (falling from heights) being treated like any other incident. Here are a few things to consider. There is natural variation in incident occurrence. For instance, you may be managing safety poorly but still have reasonable outcome numbers for

READ MORE

By Eric Michrowski A leader once told me their safety strategy focused on driving actively caring within their organization. In his words, “If we care for our people, safety will take care of itself.” While actively caring is integral to building a robust safety culture, I would caution that it’s insufficient on its own. Actively caring means showing personal concern and appreciation for employees individually. When relationships with team members are firmly established, and employees feel appreciated, understood, and respected, they are more likely to demonstrate discretionary effort and go above and beyond to keep themselves and their coworkers safe. Actively caring

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

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

READ MORE

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. There is a large body of evidence showing the benefits of safety culture advancement including improved: safety motivation and participation (Neal & Griffin, 2006), employee commitment (Clarke, 2006), perceptions of leadership buy-in (Brown & Holmes, 1986), and other organizational factors like job satisfaction, likelihood of staying with the job, and decreased stress (Morrow & Crum, 1988). I would like to share a few examples of client case studies showing why safety culture improvement matters. Improving safety culture is also associated with fewer workplace injuries (Barling et al., 2002; Clarke, 2006; Gillen et al., 2002; Zohar, 2000, 2002).

READ MORE

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

READ MORE