Safety Culture Excellence®

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Entries Tagged as 'Safety Training'

Safety Overtraining

June 18th, 2014 · Comments

The medical profession is concerned that the overuse of antibiotics is causing strains of bacteria to become resistant and patients to be less receptive to the most-used medications.  The same thing can happen to safety when training is overused or misused.  Workers can tune it out and workplace accidents can become resistant to it.  

Regulatory mandates require a quantity and content of safety training, but more or less neglect the quality of that training.  This has resulted in some of the dullest, most monotonous and least-effective safety training that the world has ever seen.  The use of Computer-Based Training (CBT) has further aggravated the problem.  Required safety training in many organizations is viewed at best as a necessary evil by any worker who has taken it more than two times.  When safety training quits being an asset to the organization, it can damage the effectiveness of other safety-improvement efforts as well.

If this state of safety training were not bad enough, some organizations actually use training or re-training as a punishment.  When a worker is injured or is caught failing to follow a safety rule, they can be sent back to training.  The assumption that the training did not impact worker behavior is valid enough, but the assumption that more of the same, ineffective training will magically work the second time is borderline absurd.  Also, if safety re-training is viewed as a form of punishment, how will that impact the overall perception of the value of safety training?

Organizations need to view safety training as a tool to meet worker needs rather than a painful requirement that can be re-used as punishment.  The opportunities for good quality safety to improve safety performance has been demonstrated.  It is time to use it to its full potential instead of going through the motions!
-Terry L. Mathis

For more insights, visit www.ProActSafety.com

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.
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Tags: Safety Training · Safety Culture and Performance Excellence Strategy · Safety Excellence Strategy · safety compliance · Blog Posts

339 - Conquer Distracted Driving by Becoming an ACE

June 2nd, 2014 · Comments

Greetings everyone, this podcast recorded while in Lake Charles, LA. I’d like to share an article Terry Mathis wrote that was published April 2014 in EHS Today Magazine. The published article can either be found on the magazine’s website or under Insights at www.ProActSafety.com.

I hope you enjoy the podcast this week. If you would like to download or play on demand our other podcasts, please visit the ProAct Safety’s podcast website at: http://www.safetycultureexcellence.com. If you would like access to archived podcasts (older than 90 days – dating back to January 2008) please visit www.ProActSafety.com/Store. For more detailed strategies to achieve and sustain excellence in performance and culture, pick up a copy of our book, STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence - http://proactsafety.com/insights/steps-to-safety-culture-excellence

Have a great week!

Shawn M. Galloway
ProAct Safety

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Tags: Behavior Based Safety · Safety Training · Articles · Lean Behavior-Based Safety · Off The Job Safety · Driving Safety · Behaviour-Based Safety · Safety Excellence Strategy

Heads and Habits

March 5th, 2014 · Comments

I recently attended a safety training session in which the three types of distracted driving were being taught and discussed.  I stood outside the door after the training and asked the departing trainees if they could name the three types of distractions.  Only one of ten could name two of the three, three more could name one and the rest could not remember any of the three.  If those being trained cannot remember the training on the way out of the classroom the chances of them adopting the safety practices and turning them into safety habits is virtually non-existent.

The principle is this, “If you don’t get it into workers’ heads, you won’t get it into their habits.”  Training that isn’t memorable or sticky is not effective training.  Safety training that does not utilize mnemonic devices, repetition and post-testing may meet legal requirements, but it won’t improve safety performance.  Even with such training techniques, too much training material can create overload rather than internalization of the materials. 

Remember the principle. Before taking workers away from work and putting them in classrooms or in front of computers, consider rethinking your training strategies to make the most effective use of the time and a greater return on investment.

-Terry L. Mathis

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.



Tags: Safety Management · Organizational Safety Culture · Safety Training · Articles · Leading Safety · Safety Culture and Performance Excellence Strategy · Safety Excellence Strategy · Safety Leadership · Blog Posts

Is This Really Safety Training: Checking for Understanding

December 25th, 2013 · Comments

There is an old saying, “I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you.”  Like communication, training is a two-part process.  Part one is delivering the training.  Part two is learning what is being trained.  In a perfect scenario, the trainer does the first part and the trainee does the second.  In too many scenarios, the first part is attempted and the second part simply does not happen.

Much classroom training is simply delivered and evaluated.  No learning is measured.  Even in Computer-Based Training which includes testing, many of the lessons are repetitive and the answers can often be memorized without being understood.  Most organizations feel pressured to deliver the quantity of training required and largely neglect the quality of the training.  This has created a workforce of over-trained and underperforming workers in regards to safety.  Much of our improved safety performance has resulted from worker experience rather than formal training programs.

The bottom line is that training is not really happening if learning is not taking place.  Learning can be measured and verified both formally and informally through open questioning, role playing, or through testing.  Every safety program should question whether they are just going through the training motions, or truly developing safety competence in their workers.

-Terry L. Mathis

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.



Tags: Safety Training · Articles · Leading Safety · Blog Posts

Leading vs. Lagging Indicators in Safety

November 27th, 2013 · Comments

As more and more leaders and safety professionals realize the limitations of reactive safety, they search for leading indicators to help them manage safety more proactively.  This thinking fueled the concept that lagging indicators alone, are not truly representative of safety performance, nor are they predictive or prescriptive.

 The first round of so-called “leading indicators” was little more than a measurement of safety-related activities: hours of safety training, attendance at safety meetings, participation in safety programs, etc.  OSHA’s crackdown on incentives that could potentially suppress reporting of accidents drove many organizations to base their incentives on these activity metrics rather than simply not having an accident.  

When behavior-based safety became the rage, the measurement of behaviors from observations came to be thought of as a leading indicator. As safety culture became a buzz phrase, perception surveys gained in popularity and came to be considered another potential leading indicator.  The search for meaningful leading indicators goes on because no one of these has proven adequate in predicting and preventing injuries.

Where none of these alone succeed, all of them together potentially can.  A balanced-scorecard approach in which the metrics not only complement, but predict each other has proven quite effective in proactively predicting how to prevent accidents.  When you measure how much activity it takes to change perceptions, how much of a change in perceptions it takes to change behaviors, and how much behavior change it takes to change the lagging indicators, you begin to truly measure the effectiveness of safety efforts.  Just as balanced scorecards have revolutionized strategic management, with our most successful clients, balanced scorecards for safety have proven to have a transformational impact on safety management. How balanced are your measurements? 

-Terry L. Mathis

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.



Tags: Behavior Based Safety · Safety Management · Safety Measurement · Safety Observations · Safety Communication · Organizational Safety Culture · Safety Training · Performance Management · Change Management · Articles · Lean Behavior-Based Safety · Safety Incentives and Rewards · Leading Safety · Safety Culture Assessment · Behavioral Quality · Behavior-Based Quality · Behavior-Based Safety Software · Behaviour-Based Safety · Safety Culture and Performance Excellence Strategy · Safety Culture Excellence · Psychology Safety · Behavior Science · Leading Indicators for Safety · Safety Excellence Strategy · Blog Posts

Can You Do Too Much Safety Training?

November 20th, 2013 · Comments

This is a follow-up to a previous blog that can be accessed here: http://www.safetycultureexcellence.com/2013/09/18/more-is-not-better-only-better-is-better/

There seems to be naïve assumption that if training does solve a problem the answer is more training.  It is NOT!  The answer is better training.  Overtraining is a serious problem in the safety programs of several industries.  Workers are literally bombarded with information that is not sticky.  They leave training sessions confused instead of enlightened.  They feel like they are trying to drink from a fire hose.

One problem is that training is designed to limit legal exposure rather than effectively improve safety.  New employee orientation on project jobsites is often a massive information dump, rather than a focused effort to eliminate the most common safety challenges.  In fact, most safety training takes a blanket vs. a focused approach.  The training tries to cover every possible risk rather than focusing on the risks that have historically caused the most injuries.  

Blanket-type training is notoriously non-memorable.  Effective training creates awareness that is sticky, (easy to remember) so that workers can easily carry the knowledge in their memory until it becomes habitual.  Test or ask your trainees if they can recite from training what they should do to improve safety.  Ask them again a week or a month after training.  If they can’t remember, the problem lies in the quality, not the quantity of training.

-Terry L. Mathis

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.

Tags: Safety Management · Safety Training · Articles · Safety Culture and Performance Excellence Strategy · Safety Culture Excellence · Safety Excellence Strategy · Blog Posts

More is Not Better: Only Better is Better

September 18th, 2013 · Comments

When safety results are unsatisfactory, managers tend to say, “We are not doing enough for safety.”  There is an assumption that more effort will produce better results.  In the short term this often seems true.  When leaders focus on one priority over others, followers tend to direct their efforts accordingly.  Leaders assume that their additional activities produced the desired results.  Often, it was not the effort but simply the priority that drove the improvement.  However, such knee-jerk reactions rarely work long term. Sustainable results depend more on the quality rather than the quantity of effort.  

One organization increased the hours workers spent in classroom training because they discovered knowledge deficits had contributed to accidents.  Accident rates reduced in the short-term, but knowledge levels did not rise.  The emphasis on reducing accidents had focused worker efforts, but the training had not been effective in improving knowledge.  Leaders realized after some investigation that the problem was the quality of the training.  The training did not address the most critical knowledge needed.   Increasing the quantity of the poorly designed training had simply subjected workers to more meaningless and ineffective activity.  When the quality of the training was improved, more quantity was not needed.

Many organizations purchase the latest fads in safety training and programs in hopes of improving results.  Again, there is this assumption that more is better.  Rather than improving existing programs and training and aligning them with a better safety strategy, let’s simply do more.  Unfortunately,” more” doesn’t fix ”poor.”

Very few organizations are failing to dedicate enough effort to safety, but many are not using that effort to its maximum effectiveness.  The answer is not more effort; but better effort.

-Terry L. Mathis

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.

Tags: Safety Management · Safety Training · Articles · Leading Safety · Safety Culture and Performance Excellence Strategy · Safety Excellence Strategy · Blog Posts

219 - 11th Annual Behavior-Based Safety Conference Video - April 2012

February 6th, 2012 · Comments

Greetings everyone! I’m excited to announce the release of our video promoting our upcoming 11th Annual Behavior-Based Safety Conference in Houston, Texas this April 2012. You can watch or download the video here or stream it from YouTube

Pre-Conference: April 16, 2012 General Conference: April 17-18, 2012 Post-Conference: April 19, 2012

For the brochure, detailed agenda or to signup, please visit:

www.BBSConference.com

I hope to see you there. Have a great week!

Shawn M. Galloway

ProAct Safety, Inc.

Tags: Behavior Based Safety · Safety Measurement · Safety Observations · Employee Involvement · Organizational Safety Culture · Safety Training · Performance Management · Lean Behavior-Based Safety · Safety Culture/BBS Workshops · Behavior-Based Quality · Unions and Behavior-Based Safety · Behavior-Based Safety Software · Safety Conference · Behaviour-Based Safety · Public Events

175 - Why We Fail to See Risk

April 3rd, 2011 · Comments

Greetings, this podcast recorded while working in New Iberia, LA. For the topic this week I’d like to share an article I wrote that published in the January 2011 edition of EHS Today. It was titled “Why We Fail to See Risk” The published article can be found at www.EHSToday.com or under Insights at www.ProActSafety.com.

I hope you enjoy the podcast this week. If you would like to download or play on demand our other podcasts, please visit the ProAct Safety’s podcast website at: http://www.safetycultureexcellence.com

Have a great week!

Shawn M. Galloway

ProAct Safety, Inc

Tags: Safety Management · Safety Training · Home Safety · Change Management · Articles · Off The Job Safety