Turnover and safety: How to prevent it

Turnover and safety


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

High turnover can be a safety concern. When there is a revolving door of employees coming in and out of the organization, this can create issues when it comes to sustaining a strong safety record. Because new employees come in without deep knowledge of the job, they are more likely to get into accidents. And it is not their fault — new hires are still gaining experience and training. You are only as good as the people on your job site, and if this is constantly changing, this can create safety boundaries. A small degree of turnover is warranted and keeps the culture stronger by weeding out people who are not a great fit, but if too many people are leaving, this is a sign something is wrong.

Read More...

Turnover and safety: How it hurts

Turnover and safety 2

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Many in safety have seen it firsthand - high turnover can be a safety concern. When there is a revolving door of employees coming in and out of the organization, this can create issues when it comes to sustaining a strong safety record. Because new employees come in without deep knowledge of the job, they are more likely to get into accidents. And it is not their fault — new hires are still gaining experience and training. You are only as good as the people on your job site, and if this is constantly changing, this can create safety boundaries. A small degree of turnover is warranted and keeps the culture stronger by weeding out people who are not a great fit, but if too many people are leaving, this is a sign something is wrong.

Read More...

Undergoing organizational change? Reflect on how involved your employees feel

safety during organizational change


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

As companies plan and administer major changes or interventions to improve occupational health and safety, a participatory approach can very well determine success or failure. When employees are involved in the process, their voices shape the program into something that is a better fit for the people and the culture. There is no reason a group of leaders far removed from the average worker should be creating change initiatives in isolation. This can lead to a program that is out of touch with what is needed by the people, and it can also hurt buy-in and momentum. Many researchers have shown that a participatory approach is an explanatory variable for a successful organizational intervention (1). It also is related to increased fairness and justice perceptions throughout the process.

Read More...

Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 5 of Five-Part Blog Series

Communication_Optimal Safety Culture


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Forward thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 will be detailed in this 5-part blog series. The first four focused on ways to improve safety leadership, systems, people factors, and behaviors. The final installment will address improving one-on-one safety communication.

Read More...

Giving better feedback for a safer workplace (part 3)

Feedback and safety Part 3

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

As discussed in
Part 1 of this blog series, feedback is a central component to safety. Conversations about safety are what motivate your people, fuel their growth, guide them in the right direction, inform future behavior, clarify expectations, and help them to attain goals. Although most of us know this from experiencing it in the field firsthand, researchers have shown that safety feedback can save lives. Delivering effective feedback can feel elusive, so check out the second blog in this series to revisit the foundation for providing great safety feedback to your people Part 2. Finally, below are some tips for giving better feedback for a safer workplace: Read More...

What does great safety feedback look like? (part 2)

Feedback and safety Part 2

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Leaders sometimes forget how fundamental it is to provide effective feedback. Fortunately, great feedback is pretty basic. First and foremost — it is specific. It targets someone’s safety behavior and not who they are as a person. For instance, if you tell someone they are too quiet and withdrawn, that is picking at their character (who they are as a person = hard to change) and not at their behavior (easier to change). Instead, you might let them know specifically what behavior they need to improve (“I would really appreciate it if you would speak up in pre-job brief meetings” ). This type of feedback is much less frustrating for the person on the receiving end because they are able to change something specific in order to improve. Second, great feedback includes details on how to develop (e.g., “If you could speak up in pre-job briefs each morning, even if it is just a brief comment that you understand the hazards, didn’t see anything unusual yesterday, and do not have anything else to add” ). It will include coaching that is specific and actionable for what to do in the future. Third, the timing is right. Great feedback doesn’t come a week after an employee does something great or poorly — it is immediate. People are more likely to change their behavior in the future if they receive feedback in close proximity to what they did that needs to change or continue. Fourth, the pace is right. It is not wise to rely on performance appraisal meetings to give feedback. This should be a more frequent process that includes both informal and formal components.
Read More...

Feedback and safety: The empirical case (part 1)

Feedback and safety Part 1

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Feedback is a central component to safety. Conversations about safety are what motivate your people, fuel their growth, guide them in the right direction, inform future behavior, clarify expectations, and help them to attain goals. There is no lack of empirical support to illustrate the importance of feedback in the safest workplaces. For instance, an intervention that increased the frequency in which leaders had safety-related interactions and feedback with their employees produced an impressive increase in PPE use (from 25% to 73% after the 8-week experiment) (1). These changes were still present when the researchers went back to the worksite and measured 5 months later, and there was also a significant decrease in injuries. In another study, researchers gave supervisors 2 individualized feedback sessions about how much they integrate safety and productivity-related issues in daily verbal exchanges (and were encouraged to increase the importance of safety messages during daily exchanges) (2). After the 12-week intervention phase, employees reported higher safety climate perceptions and safety behavior.
Read More...

Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 4 of Five-Part Blog Series

Behavior_Optimal Safety Culture

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Forward thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 will be detailed in this 5-part blog series. Parts
one, two and three focused on improving safety leadership, systems, and people factors. In part 4, understanding and improving safety behaviors will be addressed.

Read More...

E-Commerce is going to surge this holiday season. Are you thinking about the workers?

E-Commerce is going to surge this holiday season


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Online shopping has become a regular part of the holiday season. It is more convenient than ever to send gifts across the globe from retailers we trust. Recently we have experienced an added benefit to online shopping — social distancing. Now we can rely on home delivery to avoid contact with crowds of people on Black Friday, Super Saturday, Boxing Day, and after Christmas sales. Although this certainly brings a lot of positives, there are important considerations when it comes to occupational safety.

Read More...

The Color Psychology of Safety Culture

The color of Safety Culture


By KyoungHee Choi

The color psychology is a fascinating field, deeply rooted in brain activity and human nature. Color psychology is a very important tool not only for safety culture but also for artists, designers and marketers. Color stimulates our brain and from the ancient times has proven to be a useful alternative psychotherapy. A lot of industries use color to drive caution and reduce risks and injuries. When it comes to safety, colors are an important way to communicate hazards to workers. The ANSI (American National Standards Institute) has established rules governing the meaning of specific colors. Standardized safety colors can help people easily recognize and understand the message being conveyed to improve safety.

Read More...

Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 3 of a Five-Part Blog Series

People_Optimal Safety Culture


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Forward thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 will be detailed in this 5-part blog series. In parts
one and two, key recommendations to improve safety leadership and systems were provided. In part 3, strategies to improve people factors for safety are addressed.

Read More...

Transformational Leadership: How it Matters for Organizational Change

Transformational Leadership


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Organizations must continually change and adapt in order to sustain improvement in this dynamic world. Without change, companies risk falling behind and losing the competitive edge. Researchers are developing a picture of what leads to successful change and what factors contribute to failure, because unsuccessful change can be disruptive and expensive. For example, it is known that having a proper diagnosis before the change, forming a clear vision, mobilizing energy, removing barriers, developing knowledge and skills for the change, setting goals, and implementing feedback are all crucial components of successful transformation. Another critical component is supportive leadership.

Read More...

Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 2 of Five-Part Blog Series

Systems_Optimal Safety Culture


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Forward thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 are detailed in this 5-part blog series. In
part one, ways to improve safety leadership were explored. In Part 2, we’re addressing strategies to improve safety systems.

Read More...

Improve Your Safety Culture Today: Part 1 of a Five-Part Blog Series

Leadership_Optimal Safety Culture

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Forward thinking leaders are continually searching for ways to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs). Several years ago, I published a book with Government Institutes entitled, “Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention.” The book was designed to be a user-friendly guide for leaders to improve safety culture and performance. Here are key takeaways from the book that may help your safety culture improvement efforts. Each of the five sections in Figure 1 will be detailed in this 5-part blog series starting with
leadership.

Read More...

Ten Safety Leadership Skills for Success

Ten Safety Leadership Skills for Success

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

There are
fundamental leadership skills leaders need to exhibit to demonstrate genuine “owning it” for safety. These safety leadership skills represent observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities and personal attributes that contribute to increased discretionary effort and improved organizational safety culture. Caring about safety is not enough. Good intentions are put into practice through behaviors and skills. The following ten skills and proficiencies reflect safety leadership best practices.
Read More...

Engagement and safety: Are they related?

Engagement and safety Are they related


By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Employees are engaged when they feel energized, dedicated to their job, and absorbed in their work (1). Engaged employees give companies a competitive advantage because they are willing to go the extra mile. Engagement researchers have found that employee engagement is associated with less burnout and absenteeism, higher job satisfaction, less turnover, stronger organizational commitment, better job performance, and an improved service climate (2). In addition to the organizational benefits, engaged employees experience health benefits such as lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher levels of perceived physical health, and quicker recovery time from work (3).

Read More...

How to promote employee engagement in a safety context

How to promote employee engagement in a safety context

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

An engaged workforce has strong, positive effects on safety. Engaged employees are more willing to go the extra mile and take pride in their work, so it should be a goal for leaders to create an environment for engagement in order to promote a safer workplace. Consider the following when developing your plan to promote employee engagement in a safety context:
Read More...