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

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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Reasons for Trying a Personal Approach to Safety Leadership

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

About a year ago we started working with a manufacturing company – one of their sites had been struggling with high incident rates for the previous couple of years. Their TRIR was significantly higher than the industry norm and they were having a significant issue with slips, trips and falls. When we began working with their leadership team, we realized that they had a great set of dedicated, seasoned supervisors, who had a strong work ethic and wanted to do the right thing. However, there was one problem – they didn’t necessarily have the strongest people skills. While this was apparent immediately upon meeting them, it was later confirmed when they completed a safety leadership assessment which measured their leadership style.


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Differences between External and Internal Factors of Employee Safety [Video]

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

We're publishing our first ever Safety Perspectives vlog today! Esteban Tristan, Ph.D., Director of Safety Solutions at Select International takes a moment to discuss the differences between the external and internal factors of employee safety, and why it's important for organizations to understand and focus on both to reduce at-risk behavior in the workplace.


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Safety Leadership: Do You Walk the Talk?

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

Nothing will kill a safety culture like leaders who undermine safety policies, and who fail to be safety role models themselves. I've worked with many companies in all sorts of different industries, and I've heard some crazy stories about unsafe behaviors. I recently heard a particularly alarming story from a warehouse site in a manufacturing company. The EHS manager walked through the warehouse one day and noticed an employee working nearly 20 feet above the floor without any fall protection equipment on. Clearly a safety violation. He immediately instructed the employee to come down and put on a safety harness before he continued any work above 6 feet. The employee came down and indicated he would do this immediately. Problem solved, right?


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Four Tips for Making Your Safety Observations More Impactful

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

How valuable is the information you are currently getting from your behavioral safety observations? Is it worth the time your employees are putting into the process? Safety observations have been a part of everyday life in many organizations for decades, and there are many different schools of thought and opinions about their effectiveness and how they should be done. I work with companies large and small, across multiple industries and I can tell you that for some companies it works wonderfully and truly helps reduce risks, and for others, they simply go through the motions and get very little out of it.


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How Gray Areas in Your Safety Policies Affect Employee Safety

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

Does your company have any safety policies or procedures that are somewhat unclear or ambiguous? Are there certain safety rules that are interpreted somewhat differently depending on the situation, or who you talk to? If so, you probably have some safety policies that have “gray areas” and you’re certainly not alone. Many safety professionals and employees I talk to in different industries deal with this and it can be challenging.


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4 Characteristics to Help Create a Best-In-Class Safety Culture

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

I was talking with a VP from a U.S. power and utility provider yesterday and he raised an interesting question during our call. He said “Our goal is to be the safest energy provider in the country. But, what I’m wrestling with is, what exactly does that look like?” If you worked with this company and spent time with their leaders for just a few hours, you’d understand that this goal is probably not unrealistic at all. They have several sites that have not had a recordable injury in over a year. Their total recordable incident rate (TRIR) is below 1.0, which is less than half the industry average of 2.2 (based on 2015 BLS data), and they have a very comprehensive safety management system in place with all the things you would expect to see – well defined safety policies and procedures, JHAs, near miss reporting, and solid training. They recently joined the VPPPA program as well.


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