Safety Speakers - Glyn Jones

Glyn Jones

Speaker Expertise
Accountability, Multi Generation, Safety Culture, Safety Leadership

Glyn is a Partner in the firm EHS Partnerships Ltd.  He is a consulting occupational health and safety professional and leadership coach.  Glyn is a chemical engineer by training and is a Professional Engineer.  He completed a Master’s degree specializing in occupational health and safety.  He holds numerous professional certifications and is a CIH and a CRSP. Mr. Jones has over thirty years of experience working as a consulting Occupational Health and Safety Professional.  He has completed work in all industries and for all levels of government inCanada and overseas.  He remains very involved in related Professional Associations and currently sits on the advisory board of Mount Royal College’s Environmental Science program and he is the Regional Vice-President of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering.  He is a very involved conference speaker and teaches occupational and environmental health and safety at theUniversity of Calgary, University of Alberta and the University of New Brunswick.

Presentation Description & Topics

Accountability:  The Engine that Drives Safety Performance

The foundation of safety leadership and leadership to the safety management system is accountability.  Leaders must develop and master accountability to drive excellence in safety performance and culture. A system of functional accountability is ultimately the engine that drives safety performance.

Accountability is not the same thing as responsibility.  When we ask the question who is responsible for safety we typically get the answer the “everyone is responsible for safety”.  So while it can be agreed that there is a “collective responsibility” for safety, that is everyone in an organization has a specific, although often different responsibility for safety, this is different than accountability.  The main difference between responsibility and accountability is that responsibility can be shared while accountability cannot. Being accountable not only means being responsible for something but also ultimately being answerable for your actions and for the actions of those that you lead.

A methodological approach must be developed to master accountability and in doing so drive excellence in safety performance and culture.  Individuals must be proactively and reactively held accountable for the vital performance necessary if the safety management system is to succeed and “zero harm” objectives are to be achieved.

In this session the process by which accountabilities for safety performance will be explored and defined including:

  • How to collaboratively outline the top three roles, responsibilities, and results expected;
  • A system of consequences must be developed for desired and undesirable outcomes;
  • How to define and implement a system to get the commitment needed from each accountable person;
  • Strategies for communicating expectations to all persons in the organization; and
  • Defining the needs of the accountable to ensure they can achieve what is expected of them.

Success in safety performance requires leadership.  The key ingredient required for the leadership to be effective in achieving these levels of safety performance is a system of accountability.  A process to develop these accountabilities needs to be implemented if the desired safety performance is to be achieved.

Safety Leadership 101:  How to Find the Safety Leader Within

Competency – The Key to a World Class Safety Management System

It has been said that all that is needed for “safe work” is good workplace “communication”, good work “planning” and a “competent” workforce.  All world class safety management systems include these elements.  What remains is the need for the development and assurance of employee competency.  Competency requires formal integration of education and training.

The word ‘competent’ and term ‘competency assessment’ are being used more frequently, and sometimes loosely, within the context of OHSMS.  The word ‘competent’ appears 102 times in the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code, 2009 and yet little is really being done to formally develop competency profiles, implement competency develop processes or assess worker competency.  Why not? Is it fear, complacency or ignorance?

In this session a framework for developing a competency assessment profile will be outlined.  Further an outline of a competency development plan will be provided and tools for assessing worker competency will be demonstrated.  The Corporate and psychological resistance to putting energy into developing competency will be discussed.  Participants will gain an understanding of what competency means and how to set up a program for competency assessment and competency development in your workplace.

Human Error Causes of Accidents

It is said that 70% of accidents are caused by human error; that is employees failing to do something they need to do, or doing something they are not supposed to do.  It is also widely believed that the solution to most human error is simply to ensure that employees keep their “eyes on task” and “mind on task”.  If only it was that simple!

In this presentation the current knowledge and state of understanding of human error causes of accidents will be explored.  The role or the employee and management system weaknesses will be reviewed as major causes of human error leading to accidents.  Failing to keep “eyes on task” and “mind on task” are a common “attentional” human error.  The most common attentional failures resulting in accidents will be discussed including:

  • Intrusion – entering a dangerous area / location
  • Commission – performing an act incorrectly
  • Omission – failure to do something
  • Reversal – trying to stop or undo a task already initiated
  • Mis-ordering – task or set of tasks performed in the wrong sequence
  • Mis-timing – person fails to perform the action within the time allotted

Separating error, mistake and violation represents a highly valuable first step in human error elimination.  Employee selection and competency development is a big part of error risk management.  A range of recommendations for management system improvements to reduce the likelihood of human error accidents will be presented.

Understanding the Causes of Industrial Accidents

North American companies work hard to develop and implement effective occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS).  A focus on regulatory compliance and risk management has been shown to be most effective in reducing the incidence of serious accidents.  In spite of this effort the fatality rate and rate of serious accidents has not gone down.  It begs the question: “what is the cause of industrial accidents?” and “how do we reduce their likelihood?”.

In this session an overview of accident theory will be provide with an emphasis on the modern theory of the causes of industrial accidents.  Through examples and a case study an overview of the most important modern theories will be presented.  The relationship between the major causes of accidents and the company’s OHSMS will be discussed.  An action plan for reducing the likelihood of workplace accidents will be offered.

How to Talk to Young Workers about Health and Safety OR The Survival Guide to Managing a Multi-generational Workplace

How to talk to young people about health and safety and be sure they are listening and hearing us: that is a question that challenges us all.  The health and safety message is just not getting out to our young men at work.  The statistics prove it.   The statistics suggest (Data Source: WorkSafeBC Statistical Services) that young men are almost twice as likely as the average workers to be injured at work and more than three times as likely to be injured than their female counterparts.  These injuries are happening in almost every sector of our economy too: construction, service, manufacturing, transportation and retail.  Most of these injuries are happening within the first six months of work.

The current message is being sent out loud and clear that “Safety is Number 1!”  The message is being sent out through our health and safety programs, new hire training and other initiatives but the message is not being heard.  What is going here?  Why isn’t our message getting through?   They are not hearing us because our messaging is wrong.  It is a problem of differing values, ambitions, views, mind-sets, demographics and multi-generational differences in the way we communicate.  We are living in a time in which there are four distinct generations at work:  the Veterans, the Baby Boomers (Boomers), the Gen X-ers; and the Nexters (also called Gen Y).  The reality is the way each group likes to communicate and to be heard is very different.

The Veterans and Boomers are in charge of the Board Rooms of Corporate Canada.  The Boomers and the Gen X-ers are the frontline managers and supervisors.  There exists an ominous cavern between the Nexters and their managers and supervisors at work.  It is Boomers and the Gen X-ers that need to learn that to be speak a new language and be heard by the Nexters.  The current message that is being sent out is in a language foreign to the Nexters and they are paying the price for our error.

Boomers think Nexters need to be more disciplined and the Gen X-ers think Nexters are a bunch of self-absorbed spoiled brats.  The truth is the Nexters want to get along and not just “hang-out” rather they like to “network”.  They are a principled group, they are well mannered and want to fit in.  They are optimistic about the future and realistic about the present.  They combine the can-do attitude of the Veterans and the team-work ethic of the Boomers with a technological savvy the Gen X-ers admire.

Risk Communication in a High-Tech World

Today more than ever we live in economy of fear.  We fear terrorism.  We fear natural disasters such as Tsunami.  We even fear the common flu.  Some of us also fear our political leaders!

The strange thing is we fear some things that should not be feared and we are not afraid of many of things we should be concerned about.  So why the disconnect?  Fear is a natural (pre-emptive) response to risks known and unknown.  It is a primal, animal instinct.  Our evolved physiological makeup disposes us to fear of all sorts (actual and potential threats) even those that exist only in our imagination.  So we are not responding to fears at the conscious level and this in part leads to the disconnect.

As safety practitioners we need to become expert communicators.  In particular we need to develop the capacity to communicate with our employees; communicate with them about the real risks and understand and communicate with them about the things they fear.

It is most common for people to believe something is perfectly safe or extremely dangerous.  So part of risk communication is in fact education of the masses so that they can take a side: either believing something is perfectly safe or extremely dangerous.  Then the process is to expose their bias and help them move from the extremes into the middle.  Because we know for a fact that most of these risks are neither perfectly safe nor extremely dangerous, rather somewhere in between.  It is our job as risk communicators to help discover their bias and join us in the middle.

Risk communication then leads us through a process whereby: we must examine the facts; identify the stakeholders; speak with the stakeholders; understand their bias; provide more information to them; and help them to adjust their bias to be more in line with the current thinking.  Risk communication has lots to do with people, how we think (and fear) and what we know about risks.  Risk communication is about understanding people’s bias and helping to adjust it consistent with the rest of us and the facts.  No little feat but one worth championing.

In this session we explore the bias people have regarding risks and introduce strategies to help people to better understand them and come to think and act rationally about them.

Risk Tolerance

It is said that 70% of accidents are caused by human error; that is employees failing to do something they need to do, or doing something they are not supposed to do.  It is also well known that many of the accidents associated with human error are because workers took a risk and decided to do the work following their own procedure or a modified company procedure.

Why do workers take such risks.  What is it about the worker’s risk perception, the company’s risk posture or the industry risk posture that drives workers to expose themselves to risk that kills?

In this presentation the current knowledge and state of understanding or risk tolerance will be explored.  The influence of personal, corporate, industry and societal risk posture will be discussed.  The 12 factors to influence our decisions to accept risk will be reviewed.  A simple model for understanding risk acceptance will be reviewed and allows participants to review incidents in their workplace and properly consider employee risk tolerance as a cause of the incident.  A range of recommendations will be provided for management system improvements that will help protect workers from the variety of risk tolerances employees bring to the workplace.