Leaders2Leaders: How Can You Maintain a Safety Culture Over the Long Term?

Avoid focusing too much on a top-down approach to safety culture. Employees must feel they own health and safety in their individual workplaces.
Avoid focusing too much on a top-down approach to safety culture. Employees must feel they own health and safety in their individual workplaces.

To be truly effective, health and safety needs to move beyond policy and become rooted deep into the culture of the organisation.

Great safety cultures do not happen by chance. The best safety cultures are continuous works in progress and need careful managing by health and safety leaders. As we learn in the sixth episode of Leaders2Leaders, “How Can You Maintain a Safety Culture Over the Long Term?” culture and culture improvement cannot be limited to small pockets of the business. It must run from senior leadership through to the shop floor and even embrace third-party contractors, according to a group of five safety leaders from companies noted for their world-class safety cultures.

“People ask me, how many people I have in my safety organisation? My answer? … Read more...

Data Never Sleeps: The Role of Big Data and Leadership Analytics in Shaping Safety Management Programs

Data in Safety Management Programs

A wise man once said: “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data” (in this case, the wise man was Daniel Keys Moran, a US-based computer programmer and science fiction writer).

In this day and age, you don’t have to be a scientist to understand the power of data. It is everywhere from our work environments to our personal lives. Let’s face it—how many of us would be willing to change our habits when it comes to our smart phones? That being the case, it should come as no surprise that data has found its rightful place in safety management as well.


What the Experts are Saying


But don’t just take my word for it. Safety expert Chuck Pettinger, Ph.D., Process Change Leader for Predictive Solutions Corp. is a long-time champion of data-driven safety management programs. According to him, there is a need for safety … Read more...

Safety First: Boosting Your Organization’s Culture of Safety by Steering Clear of Seven Dangerous Mistakes

Safety Management Program

As they say, “invest in tomorrow by practicing safety today.” While that may seem to be a very commonsensical statement, common sense is not always common.

With safety being a key component to most post-pandemic business continuity plans, there has been a re-focus on the culture of safety. Most organizations that have a safety-first mantra have put a strong focus on creating effective safety observation programs. According to Chuck Pettinger, Process Change Leader for Predictive Solutions Corp, these programs “bolster employee engagement and provide a great repository for leading indicator analysis.”

While the focus of any safety program is to incorporate best practices and learnings to ensure that your program is founded on foolproof methods, there is also a lot we can learn from their failures. Put another way, we can identify additional opportunities to further test and optimize.


How Multi-Faceted Safety Programs Can Effectively Drive a Strong Safety Culture
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Directly from the Source: How to Best Transform EHS Today’s Return to Work Survey Results into Action Plans

There’s something to be said about hearing something directly from the source. No presumptions, no exaggeration—just pure, unadulterated facts. It’s for that very reason that surveys and focus groups play such a critical role in business in general and in EHS in particular. While this applies to most initiatives, this is especially true for return to work (RTW) programs, as they were developed quickly in response to the sudden outbreak of COVID-19.

For these programs, capturing employee feedback, particularly in the early stages post implementation, is critical. This is not only to improve processes where areas of improvement have been identified but also to course-correct where action plans are not working. Essentially, creating closed-loop processes will differentiate evolving RTW ones from their static counterparts.

To explore this further, we will look at the latest survey-focused report published by EHS today, Safety Professionals Prepare for the Post-Pandemic Workplace.


EHS Today’s Safety
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Celebrating Safe + Sound Week by Recognizing Companies that Lead EHS

Safe + Sound Week, Aug. 10-16, was created as a nationwide event to recognize the successes of businesses that have adopted programs to improve workplace safety and health. Implementing a safety and health program can improve businesses’ safety and health performance, save money, and improve competitiveness.

Each August, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Safety Council, Intelex and other participants and sponsors invite you to share your safety successes as part of Safe + Sound Week. We know that successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, while improving business sustainability.

I’ve been writing about safe companies for 25 years. Here’s what they all have in common: They are organizations that have created world-class cultures that make EHS a corporate value. Notice I didn’t say “safety culture?” They have world-class organizational cultures and EHS is integrated into … Read more...

Driving Progress through a Paradigm Shift: The Importance of a Strong Safety and Quality Culture to the Oil and Gas Sector

In the business world, the word progress is commonly associated with technological advancements, as well as developments in processes and procedures. There are additional drivers to progress and their significance can also have powerful results.

In the oil and gas sector, studies have shown that for companies to be successful in the long run, it’s critical for them to incorporate a strong culture of safety and quality.

How about we take a step back to understand the full picture?

The Traditional View of How Oil and Gas Companies Should Operate


While traditionalists will claim that an industry strongly based on scientific processes and technology don’t need to focus on employee-centered processes or procedures, their thinking has since been proven to be antiquated and potentially dangerous.

How so, you ask? Well, empirical research has proven that high-reliability organizations (HROs), which by nature, have a labor-heavy component to their operations, have shown … Read more...

The Power of a Robust Safety Culture

If you doubt the power of a robust safety culture, you’ll want to learn more about the turnaround at the Goodyear Innovation Center Manufacturing (ICM) plant in Akron, Ohio.

Over a period of about five years, the facility, also known as Goodyear’s Racing Division, turned a litany of challenges and a long list of substandard performance metrics into a finely tuned, prosperous, and continuously improving operation.

And it all started with safety.

Describing the Racing Division business as it was in the fall of 2013 when Goodyear Corporate began an initiative to redouble its continuous improvement efforts, Dave Coleman, finance business partner and continuous improvement (CI) leader, resorted to several lists. During a presentation to a group of CI practitioners at a recent AME Cleveland Consortia event, he noted that from the outside view, ICM had:

• The worst safety record of all Goodyear manufacturing businesses.
• Run through five … Read more...

Why Your People Are Your Most Important Metric

In the workplace, health and safety strategies specify the need for actions that management expects. Efforts to meet such expectations are employed and measured to ensure a successful journey. Though it is doubtful you are at war where you work, Sun Tzu’s approach involved first looking at the battlefield in detail (your organization), evaluating the enemy (poor performance), understanding any strengths or weaknesses (gaps in the management system) as well as the capabilities (resources) required to win. Once all of this is done, it’s merely a question of deciding what must be deployed and monitored for victory.  

Though they are not exciting parts of the process, the acts of measuring and evaluating how well the organization has implemented its health and safety strategies are the measure of management system success. Metrics are measures used to track, monitor and gain an understanding of the effectiveness of business processes. Such measures are … Read more...

Adopting ‘Lean’ Safety Takes You Beyond Compliance

How to embed safety into every minute of every day—and continuously improve it.

Robert Hafey, a 25-year lean practitioner and consultant with 10 years specializing in safety, is working to change how business leaders think about workplace safety. He’s trying to help them understand how much more effective “lean safety” is, compared to “compliance safety.”

Writing in a recent issue of Target magazine, the quarterly publication of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME), he explains the difference. Compliance safety, he writes, “focuses almost exclusively on following OSHA or other regulatory agency rules.” In organizations that focus on compliance safety, he explains, “practices are ‘pushed’ from regulatory agencies to safety professionals, who then take the new or changed requirements to their management team and eventually to those who perform the work.”

While this approach is right as far as it goes, Hafey asserts that this top-down directive approach often causes safety … Read more...

Change Your Culture by Making Employees a Part of Safety Strategy

New webinar explains why employees support proposals and programs they help to create and offers guidance on achieving employee buy-in for your safety management initiatives.

For excellence in any operational category to be recognized, it is imperative employees make decisions and behave in alignment with the intended strategic direction. Strategy is a framework of choices an organization makes to determine how to capture and deliver sustainable value. How value focused are your efforts, and do the customers of your safety strategy agree with this? 

In a new September 25 EHS Today-hosted webinar, sponsored by Intelex, Terry Mathis, the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm, explain why safety is not a standalone strategy within a business; it must be an integral part of the overall operational plan. The webinar is scheduled for 2 pm on Sept. 25, and registration is open now.

Mathis … Read more...