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Safety Culture

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Safety is too often viewed as a heavy anvil we’re dragging along in our work activities. Comments like, “we’ve got to do a safety meeting” or “we’ve got to attend safety training” reflect this. Even discussions of safety performance can be cumbersome when graph after graph is shown of LTA, TRIR and other rates without real, human discussions. The result is that safety begins to feel like a grind… a hassle…. a necessary evil. Having some fun with safety will help. We’ve seen innovative programs by progressive organizations that find new ways to interject some life into safety

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By Dr. Josh Williams  In 2009, Sandra Bullock played Leigh Ann Touhy in the popular film, “The Blind Side.” The movie was based on her family’s adoption of Michael Oher, an eventual Super Bowl champion who played nearly a decade in the NFL and made more than $32 million. The story begins with Touhy spotting Oher, who was shivering in the rain at night without enough clothes to stay warm or a place to sleep. She offers to let him sleep on their couch – beginning a series of events that ultimately leads to the Touhy family adopting Oher. The story

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By Brie DeLisi When an incident occurs or a particularly hazardous situation is discovered, who participates in remedying the situation? If the safety representative and the supervisor are the only participants, you may want to reconsider your approach to be more collaborative in order to reduce rework, future injuries and creating additional hazards. Who should be included in a collaborative safety approach? For starters, there should be a cross-functional team with representation from anyone who interacts with the hazard and anyone who might have insight into the hazard. The purpose of including this range of individuals is to gain as much perspective as

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation in judgement in which individuals create their own subjective reality that don’t always align with reality. This leads to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, and illogical interpretation of events (Haselton et. al., 2005). In a nutshell, cognitive biases hinder clear thinking and promote risk-taking behavior. Examples may include not tying off at certain heights, entering a confined space area without proper PPE, and grinding without a face shield. The question is why do people ever take these risks? Understanding cognitive biases helps individuals be more mindful of their actions and avoid safety

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Last week, Dustin Johnson recorded the lowest score ever and won the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National during an odd, COVID-influenced November timeframe. Several years ago, I was fortunate to be able to attend a practice round at the Masters during its traditional April schedule. As advertised, the course was immaculate with its vividly green grass, azaleas in full bloom, undulating hills which TV can’t fully capture, and expansive grounds without a leaf or twig out of place. Birds even chirped in the trees (which, for some reason, were noticeably absent of squirrels). This hallowed ground

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD As we know in safety, formal training is incredibly important for employees to learn the practices, procedures, values, norms, and behaviors surrounding safe work. This provides the foundational knowledge for employees to do their jobs safely. Another important component to learning safety best practice is less official – it’s referred to as informal learning. Informal learning happens outside of official instructional efforts like training. Because we only spend a small amount of time in training compared to normal operations on the job, it makes sense that the majority of workplace learning takes place informally (about 80%) (1). This

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