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Safety Leadership

By Eric Michrowski When it comes to culture change, people often reference a ‘concrete middle’, which is the idea that senior leadership’s desire for change doesn’t pass through middle levels of management to reach the front line. It’s essential that safety culture changes pierce through this potential resistance, as safety is a primary concern, especially for front-line team members. Driving Safety Culture Across Your Organization Once training has clearly communicated leadership expectations around culture change to your team members, it’s time to turn these expectations into actions so that change momentum drives through your entire organization. Themes such as Psychological Safety (comfort speaking

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Dr. Josh Williams and Emily Wood On July 2nd of 2021, two people at the University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center were undergoing surgery to receive new kidneys to save their lives. And then something went wrong. “The health system confirms a kidney meant for one patient was mistakenly transplanted into the wrong person. Now we’re told the mistake wasn’t noticed until the second operation. UH won’t confirm how far along the surgery was when the transplant team realized they had the kidney intended for the first patient. Two “caregivers" — UH would not disclose if they are doctors, nurses, or other staff —

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By Eduardo Lan Creating a safe workplace has a lot to do with redirecting people's risky behaviors toward safer decisions and actions, which in turn produce safer outcomes. This is achieved, in part, by having policies and procedures, as well as other systems, that make it clear for people what is expected of them. The other crucial element is effective leadership. Together they foster a safe work culture. Redirecting people's behavior is an integral part of a leaders responsibility. However, doing so is neither comfortable nor easy, and thus many leaders avoid this responsibility or do so unskilfully, failing to change the

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. For decades, you couldn’t attend a safety conference or open a safety magazine without running into behavior-based safety (BBS). It was EVERYWHERE! Some hailed BBS as the “next big thing.” Others said it was just another “blame the employee” program. Whatever your stance on BBS, it was ever-present and top of mind for many organizational leaders looking to jumpstart their safety performance.    And then a funny thing happened … we stopped hearing about it. Even one of the original architects of BBS declared it dead. So, the question is: Is BBS really dead? And if so, who or

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Leaders need to get more input from employees about safety. Better decisions are made and practical improvements are made when employee input is solicited and used. Participation rates are also higher. Years ago, a behavioural safety process was implemented in a manufacturing firm as part of a NIOSH grant. Half of the group designed their own card and rules for use (“participation group”). The other half were given a card with instructions to follow (“compliance group”). The participation group that designed their own process completed 7 times as many observations as the passive compliance group. And employees

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Improving safety culture requires a lot of time, effort, and energy…plus a LOT of employee participation! One powerful way to get employees involved in safety is to advertise all the good things you’re doing to keep them safe. This is especially important when improvements are made based on employees’ suggestions. When workers bring up concerns, report close calls, and provide safety suggestions it’s extremely important to listen and respond well. Otherwise, people’s opinions go into “a black hole” and employees shut down. There’s little point providing your safety input if no one is listening. Strong leaders share safety successes

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