Leadership and Culture for Higher Safety Performance

Improving organizational health and safety is like motherhood. Everyone is in favor of it.Vision, values, and mission statements abound with warm words about its importance. Who doesn’t agree with slogans like “everyone going home safe and healthy every day”?

Only the most twisted executive or manager wants to hurt anyone. Yet many organizations are stressing, sickening, hurting, and killing the very people they claim to care about. And when it happens, managers and executives will often look for ways to blame the worker for their unhealthy lifestyles or unsafe work practices.

Sometimes the sick, injured, or killed worker is at fault. But the well proven 85/15 Rule clearly shows that 85 – 95 percent of errors, rework, stress, and unsafe practices are caused by the system, process, or structure. Who screened, hired, oriented, trained and supervised the worker? What are the production pressures, measures, and rewards they operate under? What behaviors get noticed and recognized? How often are “shortcuts” that skip safety steps overlooked (AKA “normalization of deviance”) to get the job done? Is the boss a bully, “snoopervisor,” or trusted coach? In who’s opinion?

  • Who designed and controls the job design, operating processes, and support systems?
  • What tools and equipment are provided and how are they maintained?
  • Who sets up and maintains communication channels, tools, and practices?
  • What kind of reception do team members get when they point out problems or raise concerns?
  • Does management care about team members’ needs and how they feel (“that’s not reality; it’s just their perception”)?
  • Are team members human beings or faceless factors of production (“assets with skin”)?
  • When a near miss or accident happens is the investigation focused on who rather than what went wrong?

These are leadership behaviors deeply embedded in an organization’s culture. And it’s some of the thinking behind a one-hour complimentary webcast I am now researching and developing for May 23 @ 3:00 PM (EDT). Leadership and Culture Development for Dramatically Higher Health and Safety will draw together the latest health and safety research, The CLEMMER Group’s expertise with leadership and culture development, and experience with helping Clients like Barrick Gold reduce their Lost Time Incidents by 70%!


For over 30 years, Jim Clemmer’s practical leadership approaches have been inspiring action and achieving results. He has delivered thousands of keynote presentations, workshops, and management team retreats to hundreds of organizations around the globe moving his audiences from inspiration to application. He’s listed in the World’s Top 30 Most Influential Leadership Gurus based on research with 22,000 global business people, consultants, academics and MBAs. His website is www.JimClemmer.com.

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