Tag Archives: engagement

Making it Safe: The Importance of Psychological Safety

Editor’s Note – Following a post from Gary Wong’s post on Should We Do a Safety Audit or Do Safety Differently, Tim Austin commented in the Safety Differently LinkedIn group about the important role of psychological safety in making such a different auditing approach successful. So we asked Tim to share his thoughts on what psychological safety is and how to create it in an organization. Enjoy!

A worker in a high pressure manufacturing plant notices … Continue Reading ››

Should we do a safety audit or do safety differently?

This is a continuation of Daniel Hummerdal's 2016 April 06 "Safety Audits Differently" posting. Universe made of stories Imagine you work in a company with a good safety record. By "good",  you are in the upper quartile as per the benchmarking stats in your industry.  Things were rolling along nicely until this past year. There was a steep increase in failures which has led to concerns over the safety culture. Historically there have 2 safety-related events but last year there … Continue Reading ››

The case for small data

smallbigIt is reasonable for management to want evidence of a problem before they put resources into fixing it, and we would like to be evidence driven ourselves. All too often, though, we assume that having good data means having more data. We live in the time of Big data where the value of some companies is measured in terms of the size of the data set they hold. Our phones collect and report our habits, … Continue Reading ››

Safety audits differently

auditSafety audits have become central to safety management and governance. However, many organisations have noted that safety audits may have limited usefulness and some problematic consequences. People I’ve spoken with have raised concerns that:
  • audits may not get a ‘true picture’ of what is going on
  • some projects suffer from audit overload
  • audits may damage cultures of trust
  • audits may drive a commitment to creating acceptable images of work, rather than improving the primary process that the audits are supposed to … Continue Reading ››

Coaching Differently

Basketball Tree 1 I have the great opportunity to coach my sons’ youth basketball teams and have done so now for about 6 years. As my sons age, the various age groups present new and interesting challenges and opportunities. In the early part of each season I search around on-line for advice and try to read about things to do and things not to do. While that is good, I’m realizing the best learning opportunity is right … Continue Reading ››

Yogi Berra’s 9 Best Quotes for Safety Professionals

yogi_berraP14One of the best catchers in Major League Baseball history, Yogi Berra, died Tuesday, September 22nd at the age of 90. Berra had a way with words, ironically while butchering the English language, and his statements were appropriately deemed “Yogi-isms”. Within a few of his quotes, laced with sharp wit, there are some important lessons for safety professionals and leaders across industry and discipline. “We made too many wrong mistakes.” This quote says much more than most six word … Continue Reading ››

A Day In The Life Of

Sneakers on a Pier3Recently I was at a chemical plant doing an assessment of the management system and “culture” of the site. The corporate safety group was alarmed by a spike in injuries at the plant over the last year and wanted an outside opinion as to what was wrong that was leading to all these injuries. This mindset is common. After all, failure must be caused by bad inputs – i.e. all these injuries mean that … Continue Reading ››

Moths to a Flame

DSCF4945In a land far, far away a very long time ago someone had an idea and tried to do something different with safety.

For my sins I started my career in safety working for the UK government. To be fair this was back in the 70s and 80s when the 1974 Robens inspired Act was starting to be felt and the proposed legislation on major hazard sites would see the end of the prescriptive nature … Continue Reading ››

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of the right to speak up

8985496669_8dd78af2ca_kSix months before the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated over Florida in 1986, engineer Roger Boisjoly wrote a portentous memo. In it, he warned that if the weather was too cold, O-rings in the solid rocket boosters could fail. It was the job of these O-rings to seal the joints between the segments of the SRB’s—two huge, towering silos of rockets made by contractor Thiokol in Utah, that helped lift the Shuttle into space. The memo was, in … Continue Reading ››

The Default Future

DCF 1.0I read this great book called ‘The Three Laws of Performance’ written by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan. In this book I was introduced to the concept of the Default Future. During my career I noticed that safety professionals (and this included myself) have a familiar box of tricks. We complete risk assessments, enshrine what we learn into a procedure or SOP, train on it, set rules and consequences, ‘consult’ via toolboxes or committees and then observe … Continue Reading ››