Our speakers are available to come to your location and speak to your organization on a range of topics. We tailor each safety talk and keynote speech to your audience, ensuring that everyone is engaged – whether they come from the frontline or the boardroom.


Safety Talk Topics (sample)

 

HARDWIRED INHIBITIONS: FORCES KEEPING US SILENT IN THE FACE OF DISASTER

Why do people stand idly by as their coworkers do things that are clearly unsafe?  Why do people so reliably say nothing when they know that they should?  These questions plague industries, confound leaders and underscore the frustration felt by nearly anyone who has investigated an incident.  There are a surprising number of forces that inhibit people in the moment when they should speak up to employ “Stop Work Authority.”  This presentation provides an overview of the more significant but often overlooked psychological and social factors that suppress safety interventions, and provides first steps for overcoming these inhibiting forces.


UNDERSTANDING & INFLUENCING BULLETPROOF EMPLOYEES

Most of us have had to work with – and many of us have been – what we call the “bulletproof” employee.  This is the person who takes a cavalier approach to operational and personal safety, as though he or she were invincible.  This employee does things that, as we look on, appear to demonstrate a clear disregard for the risk of injury.  In this talk, we employ a practical model for understanding unsafe human behaviors – called the “contextual model” – to analyze this kind of unsafe behavior and determine an effective method of producing safer behavior.  We then introduce two tools for influencing “bulletproof” employees: story telling and modeling.  There is sound psychological and neurobiological support for the effectiveness of each of these tools, which we represent in practical terms for operational personnel.


3 STEPS TO SHIFT YOUR SAFETY CULTURE

Culture plays a critical role in organizations’ safety performance, yet most of us have a hard time explaining in practical terms what culture is.  This is one of the reasons why so many organizations struggle to change their safety culture.  This talk starts by explaining safety culture in very practical terms, and then draws from research to provide a clear approach for positively changing the culture within an organization.  Common “culture-change pitfalls” are discussed, and then three simple steps are provided, which leaders from the front line to the board room can use to shape their organizations’ safety cultures.


WHY IT MAKES SENSE TO TOLERATE RISK

Some employees are regrettably willing to take risks, as though they believe that they cannot be injured. This talk explores the role that “salience” plays in people’s decisions to take risks.  Those things that are more obvious and significant from one person’s point of view are said to be more salient, and therefore play a greater role in determining the person’s behavior.  After exploring some of the surprisingly salient factors behind employees’ decisions to act unsafely, attendees of this talk will be in a better position to address the challenge of risk tolerance in their organizations.


SAFETY INTERVENTION: A DYNAMIC SOLUTION TO COMPLEX SAFETY PROBLEMS

Human Factors and Complexity research over the last two decades have demonstrated that “accidents” do not necessarily occur as a result of a linear series of events (as traditional cause-analysis models suggest), but often emerge out of complex and dynamic operational environments.  Not only are the elements of a workplace constantly changing (“dynamic”), many of those elements – which include people, software and machines – are extremely complex.  We rely heavily on mechanical and procedural safeguards to keep incidents from emerging, and these kinds of safeguards have prevented countless unwanted events.  However, mechanical and procedural safeguards are inherently insufficient to prevent incidents in complex work environments, because they are static and slow to adapt.

To prevent rapidly emerging hazards and unsafe conditions from resulting in incidents, we need a solution that is “ubiquitous” (i.e., present throughout operations), reactive and adaptive.  Fortunately, people meet all of these criteria.  People can promptly and appropriately react to unanticipated or unplanned hazards by intervening in the unsafe operations that they recognize while working.

However, a large-scale study of safety intervention revealed that employees intervene in fewer than 40% of the unsafe operations that they observe, and further indicated that they speak up so infrequently because they struggle to do so effectively.

This talk introduces attendees to a simple set of skills that will improve their ability to intervene when they see something unsafe.


THE SAFETY SIDE-EFFECT: HOW SUPERVISORS COINCIDENTALLY IMPROVE SAFETY

Why is it that those supervisors whose safety records are the best also usually perform better across the board?  They have better productivity, lower employee turnover and higher team morale.  It turns out that good supervisors create what we call the “safety side effect.”  Operational safety is a natural byproduct of a certain supervisory style, which enhances supervisor-subordinate relationships and general employee competency.  Employees who work for these kinds of leaders are more likely to talk with each other about safety, more likely to stop others when they see something unsafe, and also more open to being stopped when acting unsafely.

This talk centers around the findings of a large-scale, international study of supervisory practices, called “The Best Boss” study, which indicates a set of practices that produce the safety side effect.  While the study identified 20 specific supervisory characteristics that lead to the “safety side effect”, the top four critical characteristics are discussed in this presentation.


BEHAVIORAL SAFETY TO THE POWER OF HUMAN FACTORS

Both Behavior Based Safety and Human Factors have had significant but rather independent impacts on safety.  This educational presentation provides a conceptual and historical background to each field, examines the practical contributions of each and then proposes a blended application that incorporates the best of both.

This speech is geared toward audiences who would like to increase their understanding of human performance relative to safety, and then use this understanding to improve their own safety systems.

The session is interactive, including group discussions and opportunities for individual contributions.

Keynote Speeches

All Keynote Speeches are customized for each client or event.  Our dynamic speakers and engaging, research-proven content are sure to make your next event a success.


Contact us for more information or to book a speech.

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