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Safety

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Three-way communication is a technique used to ensure the reliable transfer of safety information in dangerous situations like confined space entry or working at heights. With these tasks, human error or poor communication may lead to serious injuries or fatalities. Use three-way communication when providing and receiving critical information in error likely situations, directing equipment operations with dangerous tasks, and instructing others when they are performing high-risk jobs. As an example, mountain climbers regularly use three-way communication with each other using carabiners to ensure they are properly tied off so that they don’t fall off the mountain. They are continually checking, verifying,

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By Eduardo Lan In my work as a safety culture and leadership consultant with Propulo Consulting, I often hear clients complain about how busy people are with meetings and paperwork and how little time they have for other things, such as getting out in the field. In this complex and fast-paced world of ours, it is normal to feel like this. At times, it seems like the number of emails, meetings, deadlines, and projects people are responsible for is never-ending. Dealing with it is a fact of life. However, there are things we can do to prioritize and act on what

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Consider this true-life story. “Bob” works for a soft drink bottling company and part of his job is making sure the production lines keep running. A very large, heavy labeler automatically cuts labels and affixes them to the bottles. However, the labeler gets glue caked up on it which makes cutting the labels impossible. One day, he attempts to remove the glue with a rag without first locking out the line. He mistimes it and loses a finger and a half. Finish this sentence: Bob is  _____________. And now for the rest of the story… There were a number of

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By Emily Wood When it comes to improvements in safety, few industries have done as well as aviation, particularly when it comes to embedding organizational learning. Throughout the 1970s, the aviation industry saw a decline in aviation accidents resulting from failures in technology, however, little improvement was seen in the decrease of accidents resulting from flight crew performance. At the time, flight crew performance was listed as a causal factor in more than 70% of all aviation accidents. By focusing not only on technological improvements but organizational culture and human performance, learnings from near misses, incidents and accidents have decreased aviation

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Effective communication is a cornerstone of strong safety cultures. Leaders who provide safety feedback with empathy and respect create a true learning culture centered on trust. Unfortunately, some leaders develop maladaptive communication patterns which weaken their leadership skills. Four key communication patterns for leaders are explained below. Only one, empathic communication, is ideal. Dominant Communication Style The Dominant communication style is characterized by overbearing, inconsiderate feedback. Dominant communicators often believe: “I am seldom if ever wrong,” “My opinions supersede yours,” and “People who disagree with me are either disloyal or misinformed.” These beliefs lead to these negative behaviors from

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By Eduardo Lan Leaders play a crucial role in the success of an organization. It is they who set the standard for what is acceptable and desirable within the group and the criteria by which you can get promoted or fired. As such, team members look to their leaders to gauge expected behavior. As the saying goes, “that which my boss finds interesting, I find fascinating.” Unfortunately, these expectations are not always clear, leaving team members confused and guessing. According to a Gallup study, 50% of managers don’t set clear expectations, which ultimately has a negative impact on productivity and results (Holland,

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