Most definitions of safety contain the element of risk. In order to assess everyday risks, safety professionals provide employees with various controls to mitigate risk and tools to assess risk accurately. However, the employee doing the work is ultimately the one who must calculate that risk and whether it is acceptable. While everyone can be trained to work safely, individuals can show many differences in how they respond to certain situations, depending on their unique experiences, traits, abilities, and attitudes. This poses a unique challenge for any organization. How do we ensure that all employees assess and address risk in the same way? Training, engineering and policies are often not enough.

In order to make significant progress in eliminating injuries, it is important to go beyond these traditional approaches and address the individual human characteristics that underlie the wide differences in human behavior. Individual psychological characteristics, such as personality traits, abilities and attitudes, can strongly influence human behavior at all levels of the organization - especially at the supervisory level.

This paper will provide a detailed case study on how one Fortune 1000 organization is reducing risk through the use of leading indicators and innovative approaches in three broad areas:

  1. innovative risk assessment and mitigation processes,

  2. safety leadership development through psychometric testing, training and coaching, and

  3. alignment between safety and the hiring process.

Risk Assessment and Mitigation

Pre-job risk assessments, job safety analyses (JSA's) and other methods of risk identification and mitigation are being increasingly used by organizations as a proactive way to reduce hazards and prevent work-related injuries. The organization has developed an intuitive, effective process for employee conducted risk assessment. Referred to as the "2 Minute Warning", it uses terminology that is easy to remember, it is based on identifying potential exposure based on two main types of risks: accidental movement and planned movement.

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