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Positive & negative workplace safety vibes

How do people get to a point where they fear safety?  Our body is equipped with automatic protective wiring that reacts to scary stimuli with a feHowresponse.

Don't Let your Exhortations Ring Hollow

With more experience traveling around in the real world seeing safety programs in action (or inaction) I realize that words matter.

A Culture of Reporting goes Beyond Injury Rates

That Zero Harm goal on all the posters may seem insurmountable.

Checklist Success: You don't want a Pile of Identical Photocopies

The simple checklist has gotten a lot of press recently.

How to Give Feedback

We've all heard about the “feedback sandwich” where it's recommended that critical feedback should be sandwiched by positive feedback on both sides.

When Complacency Creeps in: Identify, Observe, & Discuss Drifts in Performance

Jack had been working the extruder for years, but this time he failed to recognize a common hazard when he was clearing a blockage.

The Dangers of Driving on Autopilot

Autopilot is a nice little nuance of cognitive processing that allows us animals, especially humans, to plan, solve problems, or otherwise daydream while performing routine tasks.

Who Runs the Rule Mill?

Rules are designed to keep us safe and are made by well-meaning folks thinking through potential risks in the face of hazards.

Safety Processes need Constant Reinforcement

Consider your safety process. Certainly your safety management systems such as your procedures, rules, reporting systems, inspections, hazard identification, safety training and the like act as a sort of foundation and structure that we hope will reduce hazards and associated risk.

Thank Someone for Working Safe?

I was in an industrial facility speaking with a mix of workers and managers trying to figure out why personal injuries kept cropping up with some regularity.

It Takes Thick Skin

Some folks say that third-shifters are ornery; a cantankerous, unruly bunch who brave midnight shifts with skeleton crews.

Don't Shrink from Building a Caring Culture

I had been warmly welcomed to South Africa. We were there to work with a mining construction company that wanted to solve their safety challenge. The challenge was immense.

Don't Turn out the Lights and Play the Blame Game

Understanding the Risks of Operating Equipment

Put your Reputation on the Line

Do you value safety? Prove it with time and money. Put your reputation on the line. Then you will show results.

Saved by Rock and Roll

Mowing the lawn can be a real chore. It is certainly not something I look forward to. It's also a chore that can be quite hazardous.

What you Learn from Falling on your But

You know you're a safety geek when you slip and land on your butt on the bathroom floor in a factory's front office thinking, “What at-risk behavior did I do to earn this bruise?”

Tumbling Down the Stairs

One key to an ideal safety culture that drastically reduces injuries is for everyone to take responsibility for safety.”

Identify Gaps in your Systems

I must admit that I've been captivated, like many fans of The Shawshank Redemption, with the escape and ultimate recapture of prisoners at the Clinton Correctional Facility in upper New York State this past June.

Complacency comes when Reinforcement goes, so Reinforce More

Common wisdom suggests complacency is built up over time working a process over and over. “Habituation” may take over.

Groceries should be Labled not People

Labeling is quite popular in modern business.

Trolling for Rule-Breaking Behavior

Once my sons and I went fishing with a guide on a chilly day in Florida. The fish were not biting because it was so cold, so the guide threw some “chum” into the water (something like candy for fish), to draw them in, so my young sons could score some catches.

You Can't Fix Stupid: Fix the Environment

We are taught to describe ourselves: “I'm an 'Introvert' which explains my discomfort working in big teams,” or “My co-worker is a 'Judger' which explains why she is so critical.” We have the impression that if we just “know” ourselves and others better our work together will be more collaborative and productive.

It is all about Ownership

I get asked to visit companies and “diagnose” why their behavioral safety program has “lost steam” or never got off the ground to begin with. Inevitably I find the whole shebang is being run by the safety department and a few anointed safety enthusiasts who do all the observations.

Workers help craft the best safety rules

Rules are so easy to make that safety offices are often accused of being a “Rule Mill” because they continuously produce their rule-of-the month.

Safety Culture is a messy concept

Terms like “safety culture” lead to haphazard attempts at changing organizations toward improvement.

Safety directions need to be explicit

Words matter. They not only communicate, but they can shape the very approach you take to your safety programming. They can get you stuck or they can liberate your safety culture.

Checklist Success: You don't want a Pile of Identical Photocopies

The simple checklist has gotten a lot of press recently.

Sources of Behavioral Variance in Process Safety

Process safety management seeks to establish a multi-level system to assess, document, maintain, and inspect equipment and work practices integral in controlling highly toxic and/or reactive materials