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Safety Leadership Skills for Senior Leaders

Why are Safety Leadership Skills Vital?

Creating a Total Safety Culture requires a common vision and effort from everyone in an organization. There is compelling scientific research demonstrating that the management philosophy of an organization is the most important factor determining its safety performance. For example, research demonstrates that companies with the lowest lost-time injury rates have the highest level of management commitment and employee involvement.

As such, all of SPS’s efforts address leadership’s role in changing, supporting, and maintaining a positive culture as a part of their daily operations. SPS's co-founder E. Scott Geller, Ph.D., the leader in applying psychological principles to industrial safety, refers to the importance of leadership support in his book "The Participation Factor." Here, Dr. Geller states “leadership makes the difference between a ‘flavor of the month’ initiatives and long-term continuous improvement processes.” Thus, providing proven leadership skills and techniques to the leadership of an organization is an important beginning to reaching a Total Safety Culture.

How SPS can help?

Leaders attend a 1-2 day workshop to gain a better understanding of the need for change in the current safety culture and their role in driving that change. The emphasis is placed on ways leaders can work to improve an organization’s safety culture using behavior-based and people-based psychology principles.   More specifically, the workshop assists leaders in examining individual management practices needed to support a Total Safety Culture, including giving and receiving safety-related feedback (i.e., safety coaching). Leaders also perform critical reviews of existing safety management systems, (e.g., communication, incident reporting and investigation processes, safety training, risk analysis, safety accountability & responsibility processes, safety reward systems [e.g., incentives]). Following the presentation of the key safety cultural principles, participants complete interactive exercises to ensure understanding and to give the leaders practical applications for the best practices taught.

SPS will work with you to customize the Safety Leadership workshop.   It can be tailored specifically for Executives, Managers, Supervisors and Crew Leaders. Typical content includes:

Safety Leadership Skills Workshop Topics Include:

  1. What is a Total Safety Culture (TSC) and Why Do We Need One?
    This module introduces leaders to the concept of a safety culture and to several key Total Safety Culture principles.
  2. Principles of Behavior-Based Psychology to Influence Behavior Change
    This module examines the relationship between human behavior and injury prevention – why focusing time and attention on behavior is essential.
  3. Principles of Person-Based Psychology to Facilitate Actively Caring
    This module discusses the importance of managing the person-side of the safety triad; how people’s attitudes and feelings influence workplace safety, and why focusing time and attention on internal person states is essential.
  4. Identifying Safety-Related Behaviors: Becoming an Objective and Caring Safety Coach
    Leaders learn why safety coaching is another key tool in changing a safety culture as well as techniques to help them become more effective safety coaches.
  5. Safety Coaching: The Art of Giving and Receiving Safety-Related Feedback
    This module provides guidelines for giving both rewarding and correcting feedback. Participants examine human biases that can influence how we give and receive feedback and practice giving and getting safety-related feedback.
  6. Management Practices to Facilitate a Total Safety Culture
    This module discusses additional management practices that may enhance or inhibit positive behavior change.

  7. Management Systems to Facilitate a Total Safety Culture
    This module helps leaders understand how to apply principles of psychology to the design of all safety management systems (e.g., discipline, leader commitment, incident analysis) to ensure they are enhancing, rather than hindering, the organization’s safety culture.

Related Links

More resources to help you get your Senior Leadership team to “walk the talk”:

  1. Culture Transformation
  2. Safety Culture Assessment
  3. Safety Leadership Skills for Supervisors
  4. Communication Skills
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