SAFETY PERSPECTIVES

When it Comes to Personal Safety, Sometimes Father Knows Best

Posted by  David Juristy

Like most of us, I often think back to my formative years and fondly remember things my parents said to me while I was growing up. Some are humorous while others are serious and have left a lasting impact…and occasionally, some are both.


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How Habits Transform Your Safety Culture (for Better or Worse)

Posted by  Brian Dishman

Bad habits put your workers at risk of injury on the job, but do they know what routines are affect their safety behaviors? Habits are personal: they are developed over time and become the structure of our routines. This makes them positive resources: they can leverage a worker’s natural inclination to be cautious on the job and ensure he prepares for his shift carefully every day. But there’s another side to the habit coin: the bad one. The moment a worker gives in to bad habits is when good safety behaviors are at risk. All safety professionals who have seen their employees operating forklifts just a little too vivaciously know what a lack of caution can do to team safety. So, how can you help your employees escape powerful bad habits to leverage safe ones?


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How History (and the Mothman) Impact Safety Policies

Posted by  David Juristy

The third weekend in September brings about the annual Mothman Festival in the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The festival is a two-day event celebrating all things Mothman, and is the largest festival in the state of West Virginia, with as many as 14,000 attendees. The Mothman is a figure steeped in mystery, most only know the legend from the 2002 movie “The Mothman Prophecies” starring Richard Gere. 


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You Don’t Want A Hungry Judge – How Self-Control Affects Safety Behavior

Posted by  Brian Dishman

Imagine you are in prison. Your application for parole is being reviewed today by a judge. What time of day do you want to have your application reviewed?

Think about your answer and hold onto it. We’ll revisit the question later…

Self-control. It's critical to safety behavior and important decision-making. When thinking of self-control, let’s focus closely on people’s ability to control emotions and desires in challenging situations. It’s a tricky effort.


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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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Common Workplace Safety Risks of Office Jobs

Posted by  Craig White

Many of my articles in the Safety Perspectives blog series tell stories of workplace accidents and injuries to illustrate the safety topic I’m discussing that week. The vast majority of these stories come from blue collar employees at inherently dangerous work environments, such as chemical plants and construction sites. This isn’t surprising, as these types of jobs tend to have the highest incident rates and are in the greatest need of thorough safety training and leadership. Consequently, one work environment frequently overlooked when discussing workplace safety is the office.


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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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Minimize Noise Exposure Risk In Your Workplace

Posted by  Craig White

Is there a lot of noise in your work environment? Is the noise level potentially damaging to your hearing? If so, then you are among the approximately 22 million American workers who are exposed to hazardous noise on the job. What safety experts find most concerning about loud noise at work is that the effects of excessive noise exposure are usually not immediate. Rather, hearing loss can take years, sometimes decades, to occur. Consequently, workers often fail to take the necessary precautions to protect their ears because they are not thinking about the long-term damage from prolonged noise exposure. This has resulted in around 125,000 cases of significant, permanent hearing loss in a 10 year span.


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Improving Safety Behavior: The Power of Commitment & Consistency

Posted by  Brian Dishman

If I could brainwash employees into acting safer, how would I do it? Documented brainwashing techniques include isolating persons, repetitive messaging under stress, controlling information from outside sources, and creating doubts in their beliefs. That’s what cults do. It doesn’t sound pleasant or practical. There is probably a company rule against this sort of stuff. HR won’t like the mess. So, what can we do to improve our employees' commitment to safer behavior that doesn’t involve psychological torture?


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