SAFETY PERSPECTIVES

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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Q&A: Making Safety Personal at the Port of Corpus Christi Authority

Posted by  Shawn Wilhelm

On June 1st, 2017, we held a safety webinar: Making Safety Personal at the Port of Corpus Christ Authority: A Case Study. By the end of the webinar, we had plenty of great questions and comments. However, we ran out of time before being able to answer all of them. We took note of all of the questions received, and answered them down below. 


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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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What a Stanley Cup Champion Can Teach Us About Safety Leadership

Posted by  Shawn Wilhelm

As the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs progress through the Conference Finals stage, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2016 Stanley Cup winning season to see what it can teach us about the importance of leadership and safety. Hockey may not be your favorite sport, but there are some nice parallels to consider.


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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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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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Safety Leadership is a Continuous Process

Posted by  Craig White

A friend of mine who works for a large grocery store chain recently told me about the fallout from a safety incident that occurred in one of its Louisiana stores last year. An hourly-paid employee slipped on a spill while carrying product to a shelf and cracked his skull when he hit the floor, nearly dying from the injury. Thankfully the employee has made a full recovery, but all the local media attention about the incident prompted the company’s top management to implement a new safety program. You might think that this was a good move on the part of the organization to reduce the safety risks in their stores, but what my friend had to say made me think otherwise.


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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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Two Simple Questions that can Improve Your Personal Safety

Posted by  Brian Dishman

In previous blogs, we've discussed how our intuitive system impacts our decision making. Cognitive biases such as the overconfidence effect, ostrich effect, availability heuristic, social proof, and many other heuristics impact decision making and our personal safety. Several blog readers have asked us how to avoid the potential safety negative outcomes of these mental “rules of thumb.”


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Managing Employee Safety at Home and Work

Posted by  Guest Blog

One of the clichés in the occupational safety world is that our goal is to ensure that our employees get to go home each day the same way they came. The implication here is that we make them safe in the dangerous workplace until they can get to the safety of their homes. But what if home is not the safest place for them to be?


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