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Safety Systems

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. Consider this true-life story. “Bob” works for a soft drink bottling company and part of his job is making sure the production lines keep running. A very large, heavy labeler automatically cuts labels and affixes them to the bottles. However, the labeler gets glue caked up on it which makes cutting the labels impossible. One day, he attempts to remove the glue with a rag without first locking out the line. He mistimes it and loses a finger and a half. Finish this sentence: Bob is  _____________. And now for the rest of the story… There were a number of

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By Emily Wood When it comes to improvements in safety, few industries have done as well as aviation, particularly when it comes to embedding organizational learning. Throughout the 1970s, the aviation industry saw a decline in aviation accidents resulting from failures in technology, however, little improvement was seen in the decrease of accidents resulting from flight crew performance. At the time, flight crew performance was listed as a causal factor in more than 70% of all aviation accidents. By focusing not only on technological improvements but organizational culture and human performance, learnings from near misses, incidents and accidents have decreased aviation

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By Eric Michrowski Observations have been and continue to be a powerful tool for improving safety performance – especially when they are used to their full potential. They allow leaders to recognize good safety behavior and opportunities for improvement. Unfortunately, in too many cases, the focus is placed on the volume of observations instead of the quality conversations taking place. People get stuck in a loop of filling out paperwork for the sake of meeting a certain quota, forgetting to take the quality of observations into account and losing sight of their ultimate goals: preventing injuries and saving lives. In fact, in

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By Dr. Josh Williams & Eric Michrowski Recently, on the Safety Guru Podcast, we identified our Top 21 predictions on what to look out for in Safety in 2021. Our list is based on emerging themes in all our interactions with senior leaders. We’ve republished the high-level themes regarding Safety's Top 21 for 2021 in this article, and encourage you to listen to our podcast for more details. Safety’s Top 21 for 2021 1. Mergers and Acquisitions: As the pace of mergers and acquisitions is likely to pick up in 2021, there will be increased attention on integrating Safety Cultures and conducting Safety

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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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