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By Propulo Consulting

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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By Madison Hanscom, PhD It is near impossible to change someone’s mind — but this can feel like an important mission for leaders and safety professionals. Some try to convince through arguing, others like to give people options to persuade them, many try appealing to emotions, and others use an ‘information overload’ approach that includes facts and figures. But what really works? How can we convince someone to work safely? How do attitudes really change? To begin, you have to make it about your specific people in their specific situation. (That’s a less direct way of saying “it depends”.) Because there’s not

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Forward-thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 will be detailed in this 5-part blog series. The first four focused on ways to improve safety leadership, systems, people

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD High turnover can be a safety concern. When there is a revolving door of employees coming in and out of the organization, this can create issues when it comes to sustaining a strong safety record. Because new employees come in without deep knowledge of the job, they are more likely to get into accidents. And it is not their fault — new hires are still gaining experience and training. You are only as good as the people on your job site, and if this is constantly changing, this can create safety boundaries. A small degree of turnover

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