When people talk about how safety performance has improved over time, they typically focus on three phases: Technical – improvements in machine and equipment safety; Organizational – a concerted effort to improve the safety of all systems and procedures employed in the workplace; and Behavioral – a specific focus on the behaviors of frontline employees. Each of these phases was initially characterized by a marked improvement in safety performance. These improvements were then followed by the hitting of a plateau, whereby any further gains became marginal. Many safety leaders have the feeling that we have reached another plateau with the...
Categorized under: Behavior-Based Safety
The problem with a complex issue is that you have to think about it a little. It’s easy to say “Here are five reasons behavior-based safety is terrific” or “Here are five reasons why it is terrible.” But neither of these tell the whole story. The truth is that behavior-based safety (BBS) is a mixed bag. Understanding what is in the bag is crucial to using the method successfully, not using it all, or most importantly, guiding the natural evolution of BBS to its next form. Don’t respond to this thinking, “BBS used to be the greatest and now it...
When Dr. Thomas Krause and Kristen Bell wrote 7 Insights into Safety Leadership, we were explicitly writing about personal safety within the workplace. We recognized that the insights would apply very well to other types of risks, but we did not focus on those applications directly. We didn’t treat the broad topic of business risk at all. Yet every one of our clients is in the risk management business, and from time to time they ask about our view on the connection between safety and business risk. Not Interchangeable Let’s be clear: One cannot replace “personal safety” with “business safety” in...
Categorized under: Safety Improvement Strategy
In some of my client work, it quickly becomes apparent how well, if at all, the Human Resources (HR) function is connected to the overall safety management strategy for the organization. Too often the two are not well connected. It’s rarely an issue of motivation in my experience, but more so an issue of capability: HR professionals don’t understand how to get involved or with what to get involved. Let’s first look at the ‘how’ of engagement. If the organization’s leadership team is strategically governing the safety improvement agenda, HR needs to be a key part of that effort. As...
When we think about the sheer numbers of decisions made by leaders the task of improving them all seems quite daunting. The study identified a subset of decisions which had the greatest impact on 60 serious and fatal events. This article outlines an improvement strategy for organizations based on the findings.
Categorized under: Safety Culture
Dr. Thomas Krause discusses safety leadership and safety culture.
The notion that leadership matters to organizational safety is intuitive for most people. Despite this understanding, safe decision making is an aspect of leadership that has not received enough attention.
Putting a solid safety management process in place can be difficult. One thing I think we can all agree on is that you must start with a desire and commitment to having one. Real commitment to a properly designed and implemented safety management process does work, and it works for the whole of the organization.
Categorized under: Safety Leadership
Which comes first, great safety leadership or great leadership in general? In our view there is no debate: great safety leadership should come first. When leaders lead with safety explicitly by actively promoting safety in their organization, they become great leaders overall.
Our first study on serious injury and fatality prevention revealed that these types of incidents had very different precursors compared to other types of injuries. Now, taking this understanding to the next level, our continued research has shown the need to look at where organizations sit on the SIF Maturity Curve.