Conall

Reducing SIFs

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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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Providing effective peer feedback for safety is one of the best ways to prevent serious injuries and fatalities. Employees understand the job and generally know when someone is putting themselves at risk. Plus, supervisors and managers aren’t always around when people are doing something dangerous.   Unfortunately, giving and receiving peer-to-peer safety feedback can be difficult. Employees may be reluctant to give safety feedback because they’ve never done it before, think it’s a supervisor’s or EHS’s job, lack confidence in their ability to provide good feedback, or worry that employees will be offended. Too many people take safety

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Safety leadership can be tricky. Smart leaders regularly review safety incidents as an opportunity to make process and system improvements for future prevention. Staying on top of incident trends is smart business. However, there seems to be a growing obsession with TRIR rates among North American organizations. Almost without fail, leaders will provide us detailed descriptions of monthly incident rate fluctuations. In fact, we are often contacted because of recent spikes in recordables. Here’s the problem. There is natural variation in incident occurrence. For instance, you may be managing safety poorly but still have reasonable outcome numbers for

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Organizational leaders are often looking for “the next big thing” when it comes to safety improvement. This is good! We should all be striving for continuous improvement. Unfortunately, we may abandon lessons learned from the past in search of future improvement. For many years, Tiger Woods famously revamped his near-perfect swing in search of perfection. This resulted in a major slowdown in his collection of major championships. For all leaders, it is important to build on past successes when implementing new improvement efforts. For many years, cognitive approaches were used to influence employee attitudes for safety. Recent developments

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. The Challenge Although workplace incident rates have steadily declined by 28% over the last decade, rates for serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs) have remained virtually unchanged.1 Further, organizations often focus on “recordables” without adequately addressing, prioritizing, and communicating about incidents (and close calls) with SIF potential. As an example, someone spraining an ankle falling 20 feet from a telephone line is quite different than the same person doing so stepping out of a truck. Leaders need to reorient their thinking regarding SIFs. Recordables and first-aids should continue to be monitored, addressed, and discussed. However, overemphasizing these metrics does a

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By Eric Michrowski and Dr. Josh Williams, Propulo Consulting Too Many People Are Dying on the Job: Will a Focus on ESG Help Reverse this Trend? Larry Fink’s annual letter to CEOs has been observed and assessed in Boardrooms across America for many years. As BlackRock’s CEO, he steers an $8tn-plus financial behemoth, a major shareholder in most big companies around the world, that has the capacity to move markets and influence Corporate strategy. This year, Larry’s letter points a very clear focus on Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) themes, steering BlackRock into greener waters. While his poignant letter primarily focuses on

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