Safety Simplified Blog

  • SAFETY “LESSONS LEARNED”
    I recall spending time with an employee awarded the title of safety coordinator. He asked me how he could be effective in his new role. I was overwhelmed by the question. All sorts of thoughts were running through my head. After some reflection, I came up with several strategies that have served me well over […]
  • THE ABCs OF BEHAVIOR
    An Effective Model for Developing Safety Training I recently had an interesting conversation with two employees about safety training. One employee indicated that he remembers many of the stories, pictures, and videos that focus on negative outcomes and that he thinks about those outcomes before making decisions. We then discussed the ABC model of behavior. […]
  • CONVERSATION-BASED SAFETY
    I recently performed several safety assessments for a company. Over the course of three days, the assessments identified hundreds of hazards that will be tracked to completion. While this may seem monumental in nature the most meaningful and impactful aspect of the assessments was the conversations we had with employees. I call this “conversation-based safety.” […]
  • ONLINE LEARNING: ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION
    Developing and delivering engaging online training is a universal struggle. In a recent survey, 71% of respondents indicated that engaging employees is their biggest challenge. The reason, the process isn’t interesting enough for the learner. I asked Adult Learning Specialist, Peggy Palmen, about the strategies she uses to engage learners and keep them from simply […]
  • COMMUNICATION “IT’S ALL IN THE APPROACH”
    If you are one of the many people who dread safety discussions, I have good news. There are simple strategies that can make these discussions meaningful and engaging. Asking the Right Questions Communicating information without engaging the audience is a presentation rather than a conversation. The goal of a conversation is to elicit feedback, concerns, […]
  • EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL
    They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If this is true, then a story must be worth a million. Connecting with an audience, large or small, can be a challenge for safety leaders or anyone tasked with communicating the safety message. A good story can be one of the most effective tools a […]
  • DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE “LINE OF FIRE”
    If you look up “line of fire” in the dictionary, it means “the place where bullets are being shot.” While this is not a hazard in many workplaces, other types of “line of fire” hazards exist in most, if not all work environments. “Line of fire” hazards exist whenever the path of a moving object […]
  • BUILDING A BUSINESS CASE FOR SAFETY
    Safety leaders are not always business minded. We often rely on justifying safety investment with the compliance hammer or connecting with “hearts and minds” instead of building a solid business case. Decision makers often have formal business education and training, but limited experience on the operational or safety side of the business. They often see […]
  • OFF-THE-JOB SAFETY PROGRAMS
    Believe it or not, employees are often more likely to get injured off the job than on the job. These injuries are costly to the employee, their family, and their employer. When employees are at work, they are in a structured environment where safety is paramount. When employees are at home, the environment is less […]
  • SAFETY ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE WORKPLACE
    I recently delivered a presentation on employee accountability to a group of managers. Rather than focus on the traditional command and control approach, I focused on accountability as it pertained to safety. Importance of Accountability In The Workplace Accountability is being responsible for someone or some actions. Although some relate accountability to discipline or punishment, […]
  • BE PREPARED FOR OLD MAN WINTER
    Be prepared for winter as old man winter will undoubtedly throw us a few curveballs over the next several months. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to review a few cold related illnesses and preventive measures. Hypothermia Hypothermia occurs when normal body temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit as […]
  • CONSIDER THESE FACTORS WHEN SELECTING ONLINE TRAINING CONTENT
    The popularity of online training is at a record high. Many organizations are benefiting from this efficient and effective approach. When it comes to choosing the right type of content, it is important to consider several factors. Course Length A recent study indicated that the average attention span decreased by 50% over the last decade. […]
  • ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS AND A FISHBONE?
    One of my latest blogs discussed the Five Why approach to root cause incident analysis. While this approach provides an easy to use tool for minor incident or those with less potential, it does have limitations. This blog discusses the Fishbone Process. This method was initially developed to identify quality issues but can be applied […]
  • PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE “A COACHING OPPORTUNITY”
    Throughout my career I have assisted many organizations with their progressive disciplinary processes. They are often surprised that I view discipline as an opportunity to improve performance rather than a punishment. In my opinion it is much easier to improve an employee’s performance than to find their replacement. Do not get me wrong, discipline is […]
  • ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS: “THE FIVE WHY’S”
    “Five Why” analysis is a systematic approach used to identify the causal factors and root cause of incidents such as injuries and near misses. Consider this example. A company I once worked with consistently experienced slips and falls on a walkway between two warehouses during winter months. Snow and ice would continually build up on […]
  • LESSONS LEARNED
    Lessons learned; meaning we learn from experience. A simple but accurate statement. I was struggling to figure out a topic for this month’s blog when it dawned on me. Why not share a few personal experiences that may help others improve their safety message. Compliance versus Commitment It would be difficult to argue that maintaining […]
  • HIERARCHY OF CONTROLS
    Safety professionals have relied on the The Hierarchy of Controls for many years. It is a proven methodology for eliminating, reducing, and controlling exposure in the workplace. Less exposure equals less harm to employees. The Hierarchy of Controls consists of five control methods: Elimination Substitution Engineering Controls Administrative Controls Personal Protective Equipment The idea behind […]
  • COMMITMENT VERSUS COMPLIANCE
    I have witnessed many different approaches and learned many valuable lessons over my 25-year career in safety. Most importantly, I have learned that safety leaders and organizations must balance the need for regulatory compliance with a commitment to their most valuable asset, their employees. Compliance It would be ridiculous to argue that maintaining compliance with […]
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