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Safety Communication

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Increasing leadership ownership and engagement is critical for safety performance and safety culture improvement. EHS groups should support and partner with operational leaders but should NOT be the sole owners of safety. Here are a few guidelines for improving operational leadership support of safety. Minimize Blame Safety-related shortcuts or risky actions are involved in most incidents. However, these actions are almost always influenced by system factors like excessive production pressure, unavailable tools/equipment, insufficient manpower, ineffective training, confusing/incomplete procedures etc. Leaders need to maintain accountability but also improve system factors when gaps are identified. The first question when someone

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. The way in which incident analyses are handled in organizations has a significant impact on organizational culture. In fact, effective incident analysis practices are significantly related to fewer incidents and injuries.1 In healthy organizations, incident analyses are used to get considerable field input into the factors associated with the incident and help leaders understand and analyze system factors contributing to incidents. This reinforces a learning environment to prevent similar incidents in the future and helps avoid typical “blame and train” perceptions following injuries. Leaders should follow these guidelines to create robust incident analysis processes:   Ensure system factors are

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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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