Kevin Burns, Calgary-based safety speaker

PeopleWork BlogTips and strategies to help you align the people you employ, to build more leaders, to communicate more effectively all while looking out for each other and keeping each other safe.

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Make Your Safety Job Redundant

Posted by Kevin Burns

Aug 9, 2018 10:04:14 AM

The safety of others is more important than clinging to your job.

Who is benefitting most from you showing up at work each day? Your co-workers or you? The answer to this question illustrates your intent.

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Topics: safety meeting, safety management, workplace safety speaker, safety buy-in, safety consulting, safety training, proactive safety, safety values, safety effectiveness, safety engagement, safety motivation, safety blog, peoplework, safety moment, safety mindset, safety teamwork, safety responsibility, kevin burns safety videos

Top 4 Strategies To Improve Safety Buy-in

Posted by Kevin Burns

Nov 22, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Great safety performance doesn't happen by accident (pardon the pun). Well, it can happen for a little while by accident but it cannot sustain. There needs to be a wholistic approach taken to safety. Ensuring that front line supervisors get decent management and supervisory skills can create better performance. Add solid, interactive safety meetings, and safety messaging that builds a positive reinforcement of safety and you build better motivation for employees to want to be involved. 

But, where does buy-in start? It starts in the relationship between employee and direct supervisor or safety person. In almost every instance, once an employee buys-in to their immediate boss, they are more likely to buy-in to what their boss is saying. When an employee has developed respect for their immediate boss, they are more willing to be influenced by that person. We allow ourselves to be influenced by the voices of those people we respect.

Supervisors without trust and respect are neither trusted nor respected. It's tough to convince people that safety is good for them if you don't have the employee's trust and respect. You have no influence without trust and respect. You may have authority but that doesn't translate into influence.

Group meetings called to address and fix individual behaviors is dangerous. That's like trying to address one person's time management skills by forcing the entire staff into a time management course. It punishes those who are doing it right, it demotivates the rest of the staff and it makes people want to hate safety.

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Topics: safety speaker, safety leadership, kevin burns, safety meeting, safety buy-in, safety marketing, safety manager, safety training, safety incidents, peoplework

Safety Investment Improves Reputation During An Economic Slowdown

Posted by Kevin Burns

May 6, 2015 4:32:00 PM

Companies that invest in safety during economic downturns fare better, lower costs, reduce turnover and build a reputation as an employer of choice.

When the economy lulls and work slows down, the first reaction may be to slash expenditures. That includes the safety budget. And, on paper, it may look like the right move. But it is a predictable move - one that research does not support as being successful long-term.

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Topics: safety leadership, safety buy-in, safety marketing, safety training

Safety Buy-in Removes Enforcement

Posted by Kevin Burns

Apr 7, 2015 3:45:00 PM

There are 4 levels of safety buy-in you must progress through before safety becomes a personal value.

Like most people in the safety industry, I came to safety from somewhere else. Twenty years ago I was selling photocopiers and fax machines. But, I preferred the idea of training salespeople more than the idea of being one.

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Topics: safety buy-in, safety compliance, safety training, selling safety

Are You Running Safety Meetings Like A One-Room Schoolhouse?

Posted by Kevin Burns

Jan 30, 2014 1:48:00 PM

Safety meetings have the tendency to be a one-room schoolhouse: too many subjects all at once.

I have been the featured keynote speaker at a lot of safety meetings over my twenty years in safety management consulting. I have witnessed some meetings that created incredible focus for attendees and other meetings that were attention-deficit disasters. In safety meetings, it’s not uncommon to see 18 year-old first-time workers sitting alongside 3-more-months-until-retirement seasoned veterans - very similar to the one-room schoolhouses of old. Children of all ages would gathered under one roof to be taught by one teacher across all learning levels.

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Topics: safety speaker, safety attitude, safety leadership, safety meeting, safety, safety training

Stop Training In Safety

Posted by Kevin Burns

Sep 23, 2013 4:55:00 PM

If they don’t believe in safety in the first place, then all of the safety training in the world isn’t going to help.

Challenges with workplace incidents can be traced right back to Day 1 - safety training. Training is the basics that workers need to do the job today. There is no personalization or customization of the training based on either aptitude, attitude or comprehension. Basically, people are trained in safety on a schedule, and it is expected that they will all “get” it at the same time. Training’s fatal flaw is an assumption that everyone starts from the same place.

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Topics: safety, leadership, safety buy-in, safety manager, safety training

6 Gut-Check Safety Strategies

Posted by Kevin Burns

Sep 10, 2013 2:24:00 PM

200 people will die in workplace incidents this year - one every 43 hours. Every second day, someone is going to die.

The roofer stood 3 stories up on the roof and surveyed his work. On his back was his fall-arrest harness. At his feet was the clip supposed to be connected to his harness. I called the company OH&S Manager. He explained he would take action immediately and mentioned that any contractor in contravention of OH&S regulations are fined $100.

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Topics: safety meeting, safety, safety culture, safety buy-in, safety manager, safety compliance, safety training, safety incidents

Five Strategies To Improve Safety Buy-in

Posted by Kevin Burns

Jun 5, 2013 2:37:00 PM

Accidents don't happen in the safety manager's office. They happen in the field. That's where the management of safety must take place. High safety performance doesn't magically come about in organized safety meetings, although good safety meetings are part of the solution. Safety performance happens when you deal with safety issues, decisions and behaviors one on one.

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Topics: safety speaker, kevin burns, safety meeting, safety buy-in, safety marketing, safety manager, safety training, safety incidents

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