Motivational Safety Speaker Blog

Cognitive Failures Don’t Need to be Fatal!

Cognitive failures are often known as action slips, brain burps, slips in attention – mistakes that a person should not normally make (Wallace & Vodanovich, 2003).  These occur as a result of faulty processes in our brain such as a lapse in attention (failures in perception), memory (information retrieval), and motor function. Cognitive failures may be as simple as forgetting to lock the office door when heading home or as complex as an air traffic controller overlooking an inbound airplane.  Some of which can be quite serious, as you can imagine. Cognitive failures commonly found at the worker level, may

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Safety’s Most Easily Forgotten and Most Fundamental Cultural Dimension

I don’t believe this dimension gets the ongoing scrutiny and attention it deserves.  And this dimension is so basic, so fundamental, and so familiar; it can easily get overlooked, and create big problems that relate directly to safety, productivity, and morale.  The importance often slips and slides so insidiously, so imperceptibly, and so gradually, that it gets away from our notice much too painlessly.  That is, until the pain, and push-back from our workers is heard more loudly and disruptively. One of the more disturbing findings that leaders often read about when I complete a safety climate survey and conduct

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How to Get Back Your Bark for Safety!

This past weekend, I was working out in a local park when I crossed the path of a large dog being walked by two individuals. Initially, the dog concerned me because he was so large and near to me.  As I continued to look, the dog was old, gray, and hobbled.  And as I passed even closer, he turned, stared, and snarled, but I soon lost my fear.  You see, I realized this dog had no fight left – not even a bark – not even a whimper!  I was saddened – I love dogs. How many of you have

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Five Dimensions that Build or Erode Safety-Related Trust

Trust is a two-way exchange, for leaders and followers.  But let’s focus on trust from a leadership perspective.  For me, trust is largely about believing that a leader will do what is best for his followers or group.  In our context, trust is about doing what’s right to keep others safe, especially when they are vulnerable to a given risk and the potential for injuries. But we have to understand that trust is a multi-dimensional facet of leadership which can be built or eroded along various dimensions through: Competence pertaining to a job – overall knowledge, skill and ability Integrity

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Great Safety Performance Requires Great Teammates

I lost a very good friend last week, Fulton Walker.  Fulton was a teammate at West Virginia University and later played for the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders.  He set a couple of longstanding Super Bowl records and I‘ve written about him in the past to highlight various aspects of leadership and teamwork. Any significant loss of humanity stirs emotions and thoughts that cause us to reflect.  I’ve reflected on many aspects of Fulton’s personality over the last few days.  His soft and warm personality endeared him to many.  And now, I want to reflect more specifically on the qualities

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Insight From Terry Bowden: Can You Push Your People Too Hard?

The Akron Zips’ football team just had a big upset victory over Marshall University and Head Coach, Terry Bowden gave me all the credit – lol.  After the game, Terry sent me a text, “it was all your talk” and I replied, “I’ll take five percent of the credit.” Well, a couple of weeks ago, I had a fantastic time with one of college football’s great coaches and people, Terry Bowden, head football coach of the Akron’s Zips and a wonderful leader of young men. If you recall, Terry was Bear Bryant Coach of The Year with the Auburn Tigers.  

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The Mere Exposure Effect and Safety: What’s Going On In Your Organization?

Joe’s a new hire and it’s his first day on the job. He just sat through a safety orientation and walks into his work area wearing all of the required PPE.  His sense of awareness within his new work environment also seems to be very high. He looks around and notices a few of his co-workers wearing some of the PPE identified in the orientation, but little more. Seemingly, Joe tries not to think too much about it, and goes on with his training for the day. By the start of his third week, he doesn’t bother with other forms

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Take Your Safety Blinders Off

I’ve upped my bicycling game over the last year.  This summer I plan on completing my first one-day, 100 mile trek – on my Trek.  But as some of you have already experienced – breakdowns will happen. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a couple of broken spokes and chain, and a flat tire.  No fun when you have to walk your bike a few miles.  And I was well prepared on a very good bike.  Through these circumstances, I’ve learned the importance of preparation but I’ve also learned that people step-up to help when you’re down.  People take

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Sleepy, Grumpy, Dumpy, and Your Safety

I’m not sure about you, but when I don’t sleep well, I can be pretty miserable. I’m not much fun to be around and I don’t work well – I can’t sustain my focus. We already know that sleep deprivation among workers is a billion dollar problem across the globe.  But how about the absence of sleep quality for your leaders – what impact does it have on subordinates? Current research suggests that there is a harmful trickle down effect from supervisors to workers, particularly when there is a lack of leader sleep quality.  Some even feel the lack of

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