All of Kevin's programs are now available for online (virtual) delivery. 

Why safety may not be a priority.

Posted by Kevin Burns on Sep 8, 2021 1:15:00 PM

Episode 6 of the Safety Buy-in video series tackles company priorities and why you may be having a hard time getting buy-in to your safety program by adding safety as one of your priorities.

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Safety Compliance is not Safety Commitment

Posted by Kevin Burns on Jul 7, 2021 12:45:00 PM

Most companies would prefer that their employees step up and voluntarily do their best work, instead of being pushed to do the bare minimum. But while you may be focused on getting compliance, are you missing the big picture of getting their commitment?

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Safety Buy-in Starts With A Single Thought

Posted by Kevin Burns on Jun 8, 2021 1:03:30 PM

Business development is the focus of most companies. Getting more customers, making more sales, upselling existing clients. Companies hone and adjust their marketing messages to attract more revenues. When more clients buy from us, there is cause for celebration.

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Employees Are Unclear on Safety Goals

Posted by Kevin Burns on Mar 24, 2021 1:30:00 PM

Before you assume that your team is slipping into safety complacency, you need to determine whether complacency is really the problem. It may not be.

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The One Strategy to Supervisor Success in Safety

Posted by Kevin Burns on Nov 25, 2020 1:12:57 PM

My first paid job was as a 12-year-old salesman on a Dickie Dee ice cream bicycle. I worked on commission with no hourly wage. In 1973, popsicles cost a nickel and ice cream drumsticks were a quarter. The ice cream bike was a single speed, 3-wheeler that weighed 600 pounds fully loaded, and my route was a hilly, blue-collar town in Renfrew, Ontario.

Like most families in Renfrew, mine didn’t have much money. My dad was an office manager at a tire shop and my mom was an elementary school teacher. I was working to save up for a 10-speed bike that cost $125.

I quickly learned what time workers at the local factories took their breaks. Most of them had no air conditioning, so a frozen treat always hit the spot.

I noticed the camaraderie those factory workers shared. It wasn’t uncommon for one guy to step up and say, “We’ve got five guys here, so it’s five cones on me.” It seemed to me that whatever they were doing, they were in it together.

The following year I worked part time in a golf course pro shop. My boss, the golf pro, was an intense manager who was insistent on routines, procedures, and presentation. Everything had to be done just so, no surprises.

Then as a young teenager, I worked at our small town’s first radio station. I emptied trash cans and helped out wherever I could. I learned that the best announcers were the ones who connected with their audiences on a personal level.

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The job started me on an 18-year career in broadcasting doing jobs from sales rep to on-air announcer (11 years as a morning-man) to supervisory and management positions.

Through all of those early jobs, I found that one thing trumped everything else— and that one thing was relationships.

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Top 3 Areas To Influence Safety

Posted by Kevin Burns on Nov 18, 2020 1:15:00 PM

The frontlines are where the largest numbers of employees gather each day. It’s where the greatest number of supervisors do their jobs, where the greatest amount of activity is. It’s where the most problems happen and where the largest numbers of safety incidents occur.

At the frontline is where the morale and reputation of the organization is created and upheld. It’s at the frontline where effective supervisory skills, clear communications, and employee buy-in to safety are needed most.

Companies are spending too much time and too much money with inconsistent and ineffective communications trying to engage their employees and supervisors in taking ownership of the safety program.

When faced with issues like lack of employee and supervisory buy-in to safety, the conventional approach is to double-down on safety rules and process enforcement. But you don't fix recurring safety issues by piling on more safety.

Instead, what is needed are new innovations and approaches to build employee and supervisory ownership of safety. And, you to do that you must clarify your safety communications and messaging.

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Want to fix safety? Stop focusing on safety.

Posted by Kevin Burns on Sep 16, 2020 1:15:00 PM

The Safety Double-Down

When safety performance suffers, or complacency starts to sneak in, the typical response is to double-down on more safety. Increased attention on rules, procedures, meetings, reminders, inspections, audits. Maybe you see more generic safety posters, hear more safety shares, and sit through a video message from senior management.

It becomes pretty apparent that there is a push on for increased safety awareness.

And maybe it works … for a while. Then, life hits you: project deadlines, customer demands, production delays, weather issues, staffing problems. What is considered important (safety) gets nudged out of prime mindspace in favor of the urgent issues. And before long, you are back to dealing with the same safety performance issues you had before.

Traditional thinking has you convinced that you must double-down on safety. Except you don’t need more safety.

Instead, you need more people to buy-in to safety.

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Do This ONE Thing to Build Safety Teamwork

Posted by Kevin Burns on May 16, 2019 4:17:15 PM

To perform at the highest levels of safety starts with a shift in mindset.

How well does your crew work as a team? Let’s think about the context of that question in relation to safety. There isn’t a safety person or supervisor that doesn’t believe deep down that their crew could be working a little better as a team in safety. The key here, is in your willingness to do something about it.

If you want your crew to be more effective in how they come together and look out for each other, then there is one thing you, as their leader, need to get them to do.

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Check-in Safety Beats Check-box Safety

Posted by Kevin Burns on Apr 17, 2019 1:07:00 PM

You may cover the check-boxes but you need to ensure employees are going to give safety their attention and focus.

Is yours a check-box safety culture? Or a check-in safety culture? What’s the difference? A check-box safety culture is just what the name implies. You go through the checklists and check off the items that you have completed.

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Safety Conversations Beat Statements

Posted by Kevin Burns on Apr 3, 2019 1:18:21 PM

Have you fallen into the trap of making statements instead of asking questions?

Selling safety to crews can seem overwhelming. Getting your people to see and understand what you see and understand can be frustrating, especially when you don’t achieve the success you think you should have.

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