SAFETY PERSPECTIVES

Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

Esteban is the Director of Safety Solutions at Select International. He manages the development and implementation of all safety solutions and services, which address some of the critical challenges faced by organizations today in workplace safety.
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Recent Posts

Effective Safety Leaders Consider their Team's Dynamics with Their Own

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

There is nothing like a good expression that explains a situation quickly and concisely, and the world of safety is no exception. After training and coaching hundreds of leaders across various industries and countries, the expression that I often think of is: “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Some attribute this saying to Abraham Maslow, others to Mark Twain. While neither is certain, we do know what it means: if a person only knows one approach or only has one way of solving problems, they will always use that approach, regardless of the situation.


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Why Certain Workers Get Injured More – Unlocking the Code

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

A few months ago, I was working with a global manufacturing company, at one of their U.S. sites.  During our project, they shared about one particular employee who lost part of his finger while performing a routine task on a machine.  I was surprised when I heard that only a few months later, the same individual lost another finger while doing the exact same task again.  Despite training, coaching, and suffering a significant injury, this particular employee did not change his at-risk behaviors.  Records showed that upon returning to work, he continued to engage in at-risk work practices and kept bending safety policies by removing machine guarding that was in place.  Could the operation have been made safer?  Probably.  But dozens of other employees worked on that machine as well, and none of them appeared to remove the guarding or run the machine in the same risky, rushed manner that he had been warned about before. They had all received plenty of training on how to safely operate the machine.


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3 Examples of Leaders Showing Their Commitment to Safety

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

Please stop and think for a moment. What is your favorite example of a leader showing great commitment to safety at your workplace? What did she or he do? What was great about it? And I’m just curious on this one – did it take you a while to think of one?


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Pop Quiz: What Does Management Commitment to Safety Look Like?

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

Which of the following management activities best describes “management commitment to safety” to you? (Note: by ‘management’ I primarily mean Supervisors)

  1. Participating actively in safety meetings and safety training events

  2. Investing time and resources on effective safety improvements

  3. Talking frequently about safety with employees

  4. Role modeling safe behavior at all times

  5. Whatever the company defines as “commitment to safety


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Ask Yourself These 5 Questions About Your Safety Policies

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

If you are a supervisor, manager, or safety professional at your company – let me ask you some simple questions. Please try to answer each one seriously, before moving onto the next question.


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Tragedy Over South American Skies – A Case of Safety Risk Tolerance?

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

On November 28, 2016, LaMia Airlines Flight 2933 took off from an airport in Bolivia in route to Rionegro, Colombia. Among the 73 passengers on board was Chapecoense, a Brazilian soccer league team, who was scheduled to play in the first leg of the 2016 South American Cup Finals in Medellin, Colombia. The flight departed at 6:18 PM local time. Less than four hours later, all but six of the passengers and crew were dead after the aircraft rapidly descended and crashed into the crest of a mountain about 20 miles away from its destination. The main cause of this tragedy? The plane ran out of fuel, according to the findings of the crash investigation. This was quickly evident to investigators and those who first arrived at the scene due to the fact that there was no fire or explosion upon impact. Black box recordings and statements by the lone surviving crew member supported this as well; the final words the crew remembers hearing the pilot say were, “There’s no fuel left.”


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Companies Investing in Health & Safety Have Higher Stock Returns

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

While worker health and safety is a top priority for many organizations today, it can still be a tough sell to invest significant amounts of time, money or resources into preventative efforts that do not always have a highly tangible or swift return on investment. In the past decade, however, we have seen an increasing number of studies showing that investing proactively in safety can result in sizeable returns on investment. For example, a Liberty Mutual study cited by the American Society of Safety Engineers found that for every $1 spent on safety, they saved at least $3, with an average return of $4.41. Similar estimates have been suggested by different researchers and organizations, including OSHA.


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What If LaVar Ball Ran Your Next Safety Meeting?

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

If you're not a big sports fan, or if you’re a sports fan who’s been living under a rock for the past couple of months, it’s possible you might not have heard of the infamous LaVar Ball. LaVar is the loud, bombastic and swaggering father of the three Ball boys, who are all young, highly talented basketball players. The oldest - Lonzo Ball - was just selected last week by the Los Angeles Lakers with the second overall pick in this year’s NBA draft.


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Making Safety Personal at the Port of Corpus Christi Authority

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

If you’re honest with yourself, where is your company currently in terms of its safety journey?

  • What does your safety management system look like?

  • What type of leading indicators does your organization use to assess risk?

  • Are you mostly using traditional approaches and tools that look at external risk?

  • How does your safety management system account for individual differences in attitudes or abilities that impact safety?


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Is Your Hands-Free Device Making You a Safer Driver? Research Says No

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

We’ve all done it at some point in the past, and my bet is, some of you reading this post still do it fairly often. That’s right – talking on your mobile phone while driving. By now, the research is now pretty clear – driving while talking on the phone significantly decreases attention and increases the risk of vehicle accidents. It has joined alcohol and speeding as the leading factors in fatal and serious vehicle crashes, and it puts you at four times greater risk of a vehicle crash. Yet I am constantly surprised at how many people still believe they can talk on the phone safely while driving because they use a hands-free device.


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