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

3 Ways Safety Leaders Succeed in Fostering a Safe Workplace

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

Many organizations and safety leaders expend significant time and money putting together safety programs and training to foster a safer culture. Unfortunately, these programs often fail, resulting in significant injuries, inefficiencies, and costs to the organization. One of the reasons for these failures is that these traditional approaches cannot account for an important factor – the unique psychological differences between individuals when it comes to safety.


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4 Psychological Safety Traits that Impact ISO 45001 Implementation

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

If you’re in charge of OHS at your workplace, you’ve probably considered whether the new ISO 45001 standard makes sense for your company. You’ve likely read about it or heard people in the industry discussing it. Or you may be wondering whether your company is ready for the requirements and the process involved. There are several factors which can impact the implementation and eventual success of any ISO standard within an organization, such as its size, nature of operations, current OHS policies, or available resources. However, one factor you will not typically hear about is arguably the most important – the people who make up the organization.


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ISO 45001 is Finally Here – Can Your Safety Culture Support It?

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

It’s finally here! What many safety professionals have been eagerly awaiting for years: ISO 45001. Released just a week ago, this is the first set of ISO standards that will be specifically dedicated to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). Just as ISO 9001 provides a consistent standard for quality management systems, ISO 45001 offers a consistent framework for how any organization can implement an effective safety management system regardless of its size, industry, or location on the globe. Indeed, it has the potential to be a game-changer in safety across the globe for years to come.


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How Our Innate Safety Traits Can Predict Human Error

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

When someone gets hurt, where does the problem lie? The human or the system? It’s in a safety professional's nature to seek the underlying cause of an event, but a more useful question to ask might be:


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Systems vs the Individual: How Safety Traits can Keep You on Track

Posted by  Esteban Tristan, Ph.D.

It’s not easy to be Amtrak right now. Talk about a rough stretch…three major accidents in the past two months alone. First, in December 2017, a Cascades train traveling from Seattle to Portland came to an abrupt halt, derailing off a bridge and onto a busy highway. Then, a chartered Amtrak train traveling through Virginia collided with a garbage truck. Most recently, an Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, these are just the most recent incidents…barely three years ago was one of the largest train derailments in history: the Philadelphia Amtrak crash, which killed eight people and left 180 injured. How can we prevent these accidents?


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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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