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Safety Communication

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. As the poet Alexander Pope famously wrote, “to error is human.” This is especially true in work environments where people have done a particular job for many years. They may get complacent. Basically, employees start to operate on autopilot despite a myriad of hazards around them, especially if they go years without getting hurt. This is compounded when a large group of employees and field leaders become desensitized to the risks around them. Unfortunately, serious injuries and fatalities often serve as the wakeup call to remain ever vigilant about safety on the job.   The 2-minute rule encourages employees

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Company leaders frequently use videos to showcase their support for ongoing safety efforts. These efforts are often well received but sometimes miss their mark. If the leader lacks empathy or seems out of touch these videos can actually do more harm than good. Here are some tips for creating executive safety videos that hit their mark: Drive your message home. Stay on message and keep reinforcing it. No other medium grabs attention like video, but you can quickly lose your audience if you lose message focus. Above all, keep it simple.Keep it short. Long videos put people to sleep.

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By Josh Williams, Ph. D. Is your BBS process stale? Do these symptoms of a flailing program sound familiar? Overemphasis on quotasPencil whipped formsFocus on quantity but NOT qualityOverly long checklistsNo open-ended questions on card; few meaningful comments providedNo conversations following observationsObservations only being done by a select groupWeak analyses of observation data and commentsCards going into a “black hole” with little feedback share back to employeesFew improvements based on observation feedbackLow interest from employees and supervisors If this sounds like your program, it’s time to level up with BBS 2.0. BBS 2.0 focuses on the quality of conversations with observations and making tangible

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By Emily Wood Many high-risk industries have carefully studied thousands of near miss, accident, and incident reports, finding most were very similar. Investigations found the same causes of error influenced people to make mistakes, and if they changed the date, location and employee names, the same accidents and incidents were seen again and again. This blog speaks to five of the most common preconditions for human error (in no particular order) and identifies some countermeasures various industries have identified to combat such error. The American Institute of Stress found 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress and US businesses lose $300

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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 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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