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Presented by: Joshua J. Jacobsen. Improving a Company Safety Culture. Today’s Entertainment…. What is a Culture? Why do I care? Why should this be a business operation consideration? Why do people take risk? What can be done to improve immediately and continuously?.

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Presentation Transcript
today s entertainment
Today’s Entertainment….
  • What is a Culture?
  • Why do I care?
  • Why should this be a business operation consideration?
  • Why do people take risk?
  • What can be done to improve immediately and continuously?
what is a safety culture
What is a Safety Culture?
  • A safety culture consists of a shared set of:
    • Beliefs
    • Practices
    • Attitudes
  • They influence the atmosphere which shape our behavior.

Behavior =

Action or Reaction

changing times
Changing Times
  • Safety in the past was engineering focused. Instead of a hand saw use an electric saw.
  • Today, the focus should be behavior. How do you make sure you are using conveniences safely… think of cars. Early 1900’s barely could go 55. Now 100mph is easy and dependable driving. Hazards have changed… peoples awareness level has decreased and behavior becomes more risky because of conveniences.
  • SAFETY Policies & Rules. We embrace them right….

Why do we drive in between the lines on the roadway without any complaints? Isn’t that a safety rule….

developing habits
Developing Habits
  • Change creates habits
  • Cannot change without feedback. Feedback is effective if it is consistent, whether negative or positive feedback is used.
  • We can't have consistency without trust.
  • Trust cannot be gained or maintained without consistency.
  • Habits only remain if practiced.
nuts bolts of climate change
Nuts & Bolts of Climate Change
  • Reinforcement
  • Education
  • Accountability
  • Leadership
  • Measurement
barriers to changing a climate
Barriers to Changing a Climate
  • A Culture is:
  • Beliefs
  • Practices
  • Attitude
barriers to changing a climate1
Barriers to Changing a Climate
  • A Culture is:
  • Beliefs
  • Practices
  • Attitude

Barriers to Changing a Climate

  • A Culture is:
  • Beliefs
  • Practices
  • Attitude
barriers to changing a climate2
Barriers to Changing a Climate
  • A Culture is:
  • Beliefs
  • Practices
  • Attitude
barriers to changing a climate3
Barriers to Changing a Climate
  • A Culture is:
  • Beliefs
  • Practices
  • Attitude
what does your climate look like
What does your climate look like?

Rate by importance:




They are all vital to the success of a company. You need all three. Accomplishing these three items together must become a value for every employee.

what does a improved safety culture look like
What does a Improved Safety Culture look like?
  • Everyone feels responsible for safety.
  • Employees go beyond “the call of duty” to identify & correct unsafe conditions or behaviors.
  • Management is committed to proactive tools.
  • Doing it the right way is more important than just getting it done under pressure.
  • Experience few “at risk” behaviors
  • Have low accident rates, absenteeism & high productivity.
  • Pre-planning the Work.

Would you tell your boss to wear safety glasses when no hazard was present & the company has a 100% eye protection policy?

changing the safety culture
Changing the Safety Culture…
  • Can a supervisor, manager, or foreman change the safety culture? NO, at least not alone. They can influence the employee decisions and resulting behavior.
culture change timeline
Culture Change Timeline
  • Safety Awareness
  • Address physical hazards. Start recognition programs or committees
  • Top Management support – providing resources & training
  • Accountability & Measurement systems. – Safety is everyone’s responsibility, not just safety department or management.
  • Safety is a organizational value and an integral part of operations
  • Focus is on eliminating unsafe behaviors & building systems that proactively improve safety conditions. (i.e. near miss reporting)
scenario work travel
Scenario: “Work Travel”

Narrator: It’s 5:30AM Monday morning & you are a foreman at a large construction site. Last night you decided to drive your new 4X4 Ford truck to work because the weather man talked about an ice storm Monday morning during the evening news.

The drive to your construction site is 1 hour, I suppose if you drove exactly the speed limit it would be 1 hour & 15 minutes.


Narrator: You drive out of town and find that you are not traveling very fast. Apparently 4x4 doesn't work well on black ice. Unfortunately, you have to get to the jobsite, there will be men working to catch up on work that is already a few weeks behind schedule. Today, your drive takes you 2 ½ hours. You are Late! Half of your men have been sitting down drinking coffee waiting for you. Suppose you should have gotten up earlier and not depended on that 4X4 Ford….


Narrator: It is Tuesday and 5:30AM. The weather man said last night all roads should be clear of ice. You get ready to drive your new Ford truck to work as usual. As usual, the tough truck has failed you once again. The starter is not turning over. It is not battery related. This isn’t a fix that can be taken care of quickly or you will be late to work again. You have a gut wrenching feeling that if you don’t get to work, your men will be sitting around drinking coffee & wasting valuable work time. You decide to take your new Corvette. It is 6:00AM by the time you leave home. You can still make it in time.


Narrator: You have received a ticket from the cop. Just as the cop walks to his squad car your company cell phone rings…


Boss: Are you on your way to work? You better be here at 7:00AM. The general contractor called and told me about our men sitting around yesterday morning. If this project doesn't get completed in time I’m blaming you. Better yet, if your not here at 7:00 today or any day your job is history.


Narrator: It is now 6:30AM. You look in your rear view mirror as the cop turns left onto another highway. You have finally reached the 70mph interstate. It would take you about 50 minutes going the speed limit from here. You are driving a sports car and it may be possible to make it in time, how fast are you going?

lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Roles & Responsibilities - Educate
  • Consequences - Reinforcement
  • Activators - Reinforcement
  • Understand your level of Control. - Leadership
  • Preparation - Pre-plan for worst & best case scenarios. - Educate
  • Know the risk tolerance - Measurement
  • Consistency - Leadership
risk assessment
Risk Assessment
  • If that was me, would I accept that risk… better yet knowing what I know should I accept that risk?

There is a leader for every person in you organization. If someone follows you, you are a leader!

Qualities of an effective Leader:





Simplistic Cause

Followers give discretionary behavior toward the leader’s mission.

Nuts & Bolts of Change

  • Leadership
  • Education
  • Measurement
  • Reinforcement

“No man is good enough to govern another man without that man’s consent”. – Abraham Lincoln (1864)



Nuts & Bolts of Change

  • Leadership
  • Education
  • Measurement
  • Reinforcement

“Those who perform well should get more reinforcement and rewards than those who perform poorly”.

“When you give people something for nothing, you make them good for nothing”.

– Aubrey Daniels, Bringing Out the Best in People, 2000

Positive or Negative Reinforcement?



Immediate, Certain & Positive Reinforcement is the most effective.

Immediate, Certain & Negative reinforcement is second.

Later, uncertain & Negative is the least effective.

  • Pros & Cons - Can be effective if thought out carefully and used as a process driver, not a goal driver.
  • Immediate & positive incentives such as recognizing individual acts or achievements are extremely effective. Pros & Cons to this as well.

Education is the cornerstone to understanding the need and initiating a change.

Effective education & feedback will enhance the remembrance of information.

Is education the solve all problem to your safety concerns & culture?

Nuts & Bolts of Change

  • Leadership
  • Education
  • Measurement
  • Reinforcement

NO. Education is only effective if used in action!

  • Without feedback, your change will be erratic & unorganized. You, management, & your employees need to see results to identify problems or celebrate accomplishments as you continue to change the culture.
  • “What gets measured gets accomplished”
  • Consider “leading” indicators over “lagging” indicators to motivate improvement.

Nuts & Bolts of Change

  • Leadership
  • Education
  • Measurement
  • Reinforcement
  • It doesn't matter what programs or policies you have in place if no one follows them.
  • You will never know the change that needs to occur if your employees don’t tell you. Develop relationships!
  • The best safety culture or world class operation is working in front of you. Listen, measure, reinforce, educate and continuously improve operations.
  • How do you inspire others? Lead by your actions!
continuous improvement
Continuous Improvement
  • What are you doing right now to improve the organization?
  • What is your employee’s perception of the program, company, peers?
  • What is your relationship with employees? Cop or resource (You are a COACH)
  • Have you acknowledged the right things? (I can’t do anything right, why try)
  • Have you addressed the wrong things?
closing thoughts
Closing Thoughts
  • Understanding safety practices are a part of educating… but performance is key to success (actually doing it).
  • Working safe is not only about changing a culture, rather preserving quality of life.
  • A Culture is:
  • Beliefs
  • Practices
  • Attitude

Nuts & Bolts of Change

  • Leadership
  • Education
  • Measurement
  • Reinforcement