Safety of Work, Safety Work & Safety Clutter: Talking with David Provan

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Australian safety professional David Provan is an interesting voice in occupational safety, and recently I read two interesting papers he has co-authored: Safety Work v. Safety of Work and Safety Clutter.

I liked those articles so much we asked David to join us at the first-ever, inaugural meeting of the Portland, Oregon (USA) Safety Differently Book Club. David graciously accepted and he knocked it out of the park, talking about all of these topics with local safety professionals while an adult beverage or two were consumed here in the PNW. So thanks to David for that.

That conversation was so enlightening, I dug deep and asked David if he’d do a recorded discussion on the same basic ideas so we could present it to people who weren’t in the Safety Differently Book Club, and he kindly agreed. And the video below is the official record of that discussion.

We’d like to thank David again, we hope you give this talk a listen and find it useful, and we encourage you to drop your thoughts into the comments section below.

I plan on adding some related links and a transcript below at some point soon. Until then, enjoy the video and thanks for being patient with me!

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Complicated Systems, Complex Systems, Emergence & Systems Thinking in Safety: Talking with Adam Johns

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In this recorded video discussion with English safety professional Adam Johns, we talk about two big issues in organizational performance improvement (in general) that are big concerns in occupational safety as well: systems and complexity.

Our workplaces are made up of multiple systems, which is why systems thinking is so important when you’re trying to create improvements or solve problems. We  introduce this issue in our Systems Thinking for Workplace Performance Improvement article and it’s also something we discuss in our ATD Human Performance Improvement Model article.

Additionally, our workplaces are complex, particularly because they are sociotechnical systems, meaning machines and humans interact. This is different than just being complicated, in the way that a machine can be complicated. That’s because even though a machine is complicated, you can predict what it will do accurately, but when you add humans (and collections of humans, such as departments or organizations or multiple organizations), things become unpredictable. This can lead to what people refer to as emergence.

I’ve been familiar with Adam Johns for some time, but when I read his article on Complicated and Complex Systems in Safety Management, I knew I wanted to talk through this stuff with him. He was gracious enough to accept, sharing his time and knowledge, and the video below is the fruit of that. Thanks to Adam!

And we hope you enjoy the discussion. Let us know your thoughts.

Note: I’ll get workin’ on adding relevant links and a transcript for this discussion shortly! Thanks for being patient with me until then.

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OSHA’s Recommendations for Safety & Health Management Programs in Construction

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In recent years, OSHA created some recommended practices for safety and health management programs or systems. One of those, OSHA 3886, is titled Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction.

We wanted to make sure you know about this OSHA document on construction safety and health programs. And we also wanted to call out some of the highlights of the OSHA document for you here in this article.

So definitely download the OSHA document so you can read it completely and use it to improve the safety and health of your construction work areas (and stay more compliant, as well). But please do feel free to review our article for some helpful construction safety tips also.

And be sure to let us know if you need help with construction safety training, safety management software for your construction company, construction project management continuing education, or other stuff related to construction.

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Human Factors: Helping Employees Make Decisions that Don’t Lead to Incidents

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Welcome, video fans! This is the fourth and last in a four-recording series of discussions with Jennifer Serne, Assistant Professor at Central Washington University, on topics related to decision-making, heuristics, cognitive biases, incidents, and incident investigations.

To make the four-recording series easier to process mentally, we broke it up into two parts, with two discussions per part. Those parts are:

Part 1: Decision-Making, Heuristics, and & Cognitive Biases from the Safety Professionals Perspective During Incident Investigations (this part includes a discussion titled Incident Investigations & Cognitive Biases and a second discussion titled Guarding Against Bias in Incident Investigations).

Part 2: The same general topics–decision making, heuristics, cognitive biases–but from the perspective of employees on the job (this includes a discussion titled Why Human Decisions Sometimes Contribute to Incidents and the discussion immediately below).

We hope you enjoy this fourth and final discussion on these issues and invite you to check out the earlier ones if you missed those. We also invite you to join with us in waiting for future recorded discussions with Jennifer–we’ve got some planned.

Before you take off, please feel free to download the guide below. 

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Free Download–Guide to Risk-Based Safety Management

Download this free guide to using risk management for your occupational safety and health management program.

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Human Factors: Why Human Decisions Sometimes Lead to Incidents

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If you’ve been following us lately, you know we’re in the middle of a four-discussion series with Jennifer Serne, an Assistant Professor at Central Washington University’s Safety and Health Management Program, about issues related to decision-making, heuristics, cognitive bias, incidents, and safety at work.

If you’re missed the first two discussions, walk don’t run to check them out: Cognitive Biases and Incident Investigations and Guarding Against Cognitive Biases in Incident Investigations.

Are you back? OK, then go ahead and check out this recorded discussion. It’s the first of two discussion in which we “flip the coin” and look at heuristics, cognitive biases, and decision-making not by the safety professional but rather by the employees the safety professional works with.

In this discussion, we’ll start by talking about heuristics, biases, and decision-making. In the fourth and final conversation, we’ll discuss how safety professionals can help set employees up to make better (or safer, or more successful, or more optimal, or whatever word want you to use here) decisions at work.

As before, many thanks to Jennifer.

We hope you enjoyed this discussion of human factors at work, that you went  back and checked out the earlier discussions, and that you stay tuned for the fourth and final discussion in this series.

Before you go, feel free to download the guide below as well.

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Free Download–Guide to Risk-Based Safety Management

Download this free guide to using risk management for your occupational safety and health management program.

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Guarding Against Bias in Incident Investigations

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In a recent recorded discussion with Jennifer Serne of Central Washington University’s Safety and Health Management program, Jennifer told us how we use heuristics in our life and during incident investigations and how we also fail prey to applying cognitive biases in our incident investigations.

In this continuation of the discussion, Jennifer continues discussing cognitive biases in incident investigations and gives us some tips for trying to be wary of their influence and to try to minimize their influence.

In future conversations, we’ll talk with Jennifer about how employees use heuristics and how they also suffer from cognitive biases when they’re making decisions on the job. Stay tuned for that!

Many thanks to Jennifer Serne for sharing her insights and experience on these issues with us.

Let us know if you have any questions, stay tuned for more from Jennifer, and have a great day.

Feel free to download the free guide below, too. 

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Free Download–Guide to Risk-Based Safety Management

Download this free guide to using risk management for your occupational safety and health management program.

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Construction Safety Training Guide

Safety training is important in all types of work and that of course includes construction, an industry with many serious safety and health hazards.

While safety training isn’t the entire solution to mitigating and controlling hazards at construction work sites (don’t forget simple-yet-effective tools like the hierarchy of controls for workplace safety risk management and the importance of a safety management program or system), it can of course play an important role.

But many safety professionals, despite being tasked with high-stakes safety training, haven’t had the opportunity to study the basics of what makes training effective–meaning, how to improve knowledge and skill levels; how to improve comprehension and retention; how to help reinforce and support workers after training so they’re more likely to apply that safety training on the job, when and where it matters; how to integrate that safety training into your larger organizational learning efforts; how to integrate that safety training into your larger safety management efforts; and more.

In this guide, we’ll give you useful advice to help with all of this. Plus we call out specific OSHA safety training regulations and provide links to helpful resources on safety training from OSHA, ASSP, and other organizations.

You can download the Construction Safety Training Guide below, and in addition you might want to check out our OSHA Construction Compliance Guide.

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Bias in Incident Investigations

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Performing an incident investigation is an important role within the job responsibilities of a safety manager or safety professional.

The reason we conduct incident investigations is because we want to learn what caused the incident and hopefully prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.

But that well-intended effort can be led astray and misdirected by cognitive biases that the incident investigator may hold and that may influence his or her decisions, judgments, and decisions during the incident investigation.

In this recorded discussion, Assistant Professor Jennifer Serne from Central Washington University’s Safety and Health Management Program tells us about heuristics, cognitive biases, and incident investigations. In a second recorded discussion, she tells us how to guard against these cognitive biases during incident investigations. And in a third and fourth recorded discussion (upcoming), we’ll discuss how heuristics and cognitive biases affect the decisions that employees make at work.

Here’s the video. Enjoy and be sure to check out the other recorded discussions with Jennifer as well.

Here are some links to stuff that came up in this discussion with Jennifer:

We’d like to thank Jennifer for sharing her thoughts on cognitive biases during incident investigations as performed by safety professionals and we hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned for the second recorded discussion, in which we talk about things that safety professionals can do to try to minimize the harmful and misleading effects of cognitive biases during incident investigations.

Before you go, please feel free to download the free guide below.

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Free Download–Guide to Risk-Based Safety Management

Download this free guide to using risk management for your occupational safety and health management program.

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Safety, Discipline & Accountability: A Conversation with Andrea Baker

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There have been times or even are times when occupational safety and health professionals have wanted to discipline workers for infractions of various sorts.

In this recorded video discussion, “HOP Mentor” Andrea Baker explains why disciplining workers is often the wrong approach. Instead, she recommends helping to create circumstances in which workers develop accountability for their behaviors, decisions, and work.

Check out Andrea’s HOP Mentor website here, and find additional materials from Andrea at the HOP Hub.

Here are some other articles you might find of interest as well:

Before you go, please feel free to download our infographic showing the famous Mager & Pipe Workplace Performance Problem Analysis & Solution Flowchart.

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Analyzing & Solving Workplace Performance Problems Flowchart

Download this free infographic, based on the famous Mager/Pipe flowchart from their book Analyzing Performance Problems, to determine the cause of workplace performance problems and then select the appropriate solution/intervention.

Download Free Infographic

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Knowledge, Philosophy & Safety: A Conversation with Nick Travaglini

As a safety professional, you want to know about the world around you. But that begs the question–what DO you know about the world around you, how do you know that, and how can you apply all of this to helping create safer, healthier workplaces for everyone in your organization.

  • We recently met Nick Travaglini while listening to him discussing the intersections between philosophy and occupational safety at one of the GREAT online learning experiences that Ron Gantt has been hosting since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In three consecutive talks, he discussed a chronology of knowledge, if you will, in western civilization by discussing three works:

    Rene Descartes, The Discourse on the Method, a seminal work that helped set up the Enlightenment and the Newtonian mechanistic world view

  • Fritjof Capra, The Turning Point: Science, Society & The Rising Culture, anTod in particular a chapter on Einstein and physics since Einstein
  • Todd May, Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction (a book about a French post-structuralist philosopher who sought to take lessons from post-Einsteinian physics and apply them to our lives and thought

Give the video below a listen and see what you think. We talk about lots of stuff of interest to safety professionals, including root-cause analysis and how to use diversity to get better opinions and ideas.

We’ve also included some links below to things that came up during the discussion.

Todd Conklin, Pre-Accident Investigation Podcast Series 

Sidney Dekker, Drift into Failure 

 

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Free On-Demand Webinar: Why Apply HPI?

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Human Performance Improvement, or HPI, is a field or thought (or philosophy, or mindset, or management system) dedicated to helping humans working more effectively within their workplace systems. We recently invited our friend Joe Estey, a human performance improvement specialist, to discuss HPI with us in a live webinar that we’re now offering in a recorded, on-demand version.

View our Why Apply HPI? Webinar at our Webinars webpage.

We hope you enjoy the webinar and invite you to check out collection of workforce training online courses.

We’ve also included a series of links related to HPI (and similar fields, such as Safety Differently, Safety II, and HOP, or human and organizational performance) as well as a free infograpic that reproduces the famous Workplace Performance Improvement flowchart by Mager and Pipe, below.

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Free Guide to OSHA Compliance for the Construction Industry

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OSHA’s 1926 standards provide safety regulations for American employers in the construction industry (along with some additional regulations that apply to all US employers, such as OSHA’s General Duty clause).

To help construction industry employers meet their OSHA compliance requirements, we’ve created this handy Guide to OSHA Construction Compliance, which is based on OSHA’s Compliance Assistance Quick Start for the Construction Industry.

Of course, every organization is unique and no guide (not even OSHA’s Quick Start) can guarantee your organization is compliant, but we think you’ll find this guide does a great job in alerting you to much of what you need to do to get into compliance. We’ve even included a checklist at the end that you can use and modify for your own compliance needs.

Also, stay tuned for our upcoming Guide to Construction Safety Training, which we anticipate having ready for you all next month.

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