Tag: Leadership Development

Elements of an Effective Safety Committee

There are a number of components necessary to create and maintain a strong, effective safety committee. Key among them are employee involvement and evolution – that constant search for ways to improve both how the committee functions as a group and the results committee members produce. Other ingredients for success include ownership at all levels of the organization, a clearly defined committee charter, sponsorship, effective committee facilitation, and companywide communication about committee activities and progress. Evolve and InvolveForming a safety committee is a great way to instill a...

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Injury Prevention Through Leadership, Employee Engagement and Analytics

Safety is a core value and central to everything we do at Duke Energy. It is an ingrained part of how we operate the company, and we put safety first in our workplaces and communities. Our goal is for everyone we work with to return home safely each day. We continue to drive a culture of safety through an excellence model comprised of three key elements: safety leadership, employee and contractor engagement, and robust safety processes. Everything we do – from activities and programs to safety improvement initiatives – falls under one or more of the elements that comprise the safety excellence...

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Understanding and Influencing the ‘Bulletproof’ Employee

Some employees are regrettably willing to take risks, as though they believe that they cannot be injured. This is the challenge of the “bulletproof” employee. To influence these kinds of employees, we first need to understand why they take the risks that they do, and our approach to understanding these employees, as it turns out, is where the challenge starts. By breaking a handful of old habits and adopting a more useful model for understanding others’ decisions and actions, we can become better equipped to tackle this challenge head-on and positively influence these employees. Dealing...

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Learning Leadership: Personal Protective Emotional Armor: Part 2

In the first part of this article (“Personal Protective Emotional Armor: Part 1,” December 2013), we briefly touched on the evolution of the value of human capital in the utility workplace. In the 1970s, government – including OSHA – and industry leaders began to combine efforts to define written safety procedures for nearly every craft. In recent years, with a growing interest in leading indicators such as near misses – which are often caused due to workers thinking and feeling that they are safe – it has become more commonplace for employers and employees to discuss thoughts and feelings. Today,...

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Train the Trainer 101: Practical Elements for Developing a Safety Culture

If you have been a safety person for any time at all, you have heard someone say, “I can’t believe they did that!” It is usually in the context of an incident investigation. As the interviews are completed and the evidence is analyzed, it comes to light that the crew did something completely out of character, or maybe even violated a well-known rule or procedure. Sometimes we find out that the crew involved had just completed training or attended a safety meeting regarding the very risk that caused the incident. But you know these people. They are highly skilled journeymen lineworkers,...

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Learning Leadership: Personal Protective Emotional Armor: Part 1

Prior to the 1990s, thoughts and emotions typically were not topics of discussion. That was a time when children were to be seen and not heard, and employees were not to think, but rather just do as they were told. The very idea of talking about what was on your mind or how you felt often was the last item on anyone’s priority list. Times certainly have changed over the years, but the idea that we don’t need to share thoughts and emotions still lingers in some organizations. Unfortunately, safe work will be hindered by refusing to establish open dialogue about these subjects. Neglecting to discuss...

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2013 USOLN Safety Award Winners Announced

During the iP Utility Safety Conference & Expo held earlier this year in Louisville, Ky., representatives from the Utility Safety & Ops Leadership Network presented the 2013 John McRae Safety Leadership Award to Jim Vaughn, CUSP, and the 2013 Carolyn Alkire Safety Advocate Award to Michael Getman, CUSP. The John McRae Safety Leadership Award was created to honor John McRae, a fourth-generation lineman who enjoyed an inspiring 42-year career before passing away on July 27, 2010. He was active in the military reserves for nearly 30 years and instrumental in establishing the Massachusetts...

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Spice It Up!

Would you go to a fine restaurant that only served bland food? Of course you wouldn’t. One of the main reasons we enjoy going to restaurants is because the food is seasoned and tasty. The same applies to safety presentations. People enjoy them if they are pleasing to the senses. That’s why spicing them up so they aren’t bland will not only make your presentations more enjoyable, but will help stimulate your employees to get involved. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times. Your goal for any safety presentation is to change or reinforce behaviors. To do this, you’ve got to get and keep your audience’s...

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Leadership Skill Set 5: Social Persuasion

Social persuasion is the final skill set needed to understand the science of emotional intelligence. The concept behind emotional intelligence is that everyone can learn its five skill sets. Some people have a greater need for them than others, but the point is to start the process of better understanding others by studying the disciplines and applying them to each of your relationships. Studies in the last three to five years validate the notion that your understanding of emotions can improve your ability to bridge relational gaps and ultimately improve personal and professional performance. Developing...

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