OHS Canada Magazine

American Society of Safety Engineers’ Webinar to Address Debate on Behavior-based Safety, Systems

March 21, 2012

Health & Safety

DES PLAINES, IL (March 21, 2012) – From management skills to measurement, culture to unintended consequences – to create a truly powerful and effective safety management system, safety professionals need to address them all is what American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Fellow, author and teacher Fred Manuele and others will discuss during ASSE’s March 29-30 ‘Changing Behavior – Balancing the Elements of Effective Safety Management’ webinar.

Many ASSE members note that since Herbert William Heinrich’s (born in 1886) work in the 1930’s many organizations implemented Behavior-based safety as a core part of their safety management system. Since that time, hundreds of other ideas and system integrations have come and gone. But many times, the argument over what was best for the system became a distraction.

Heinrich was an industrial safety pioneer. He was an assistant superintendent of the engineering and inspection division of Travelers Insurance Company when he published his book Industrial Accident Prevention, A Scientific Approach in 1931. One empirical finding from his 1931 book became known as Heinrich’s Law: that in a workplace, for every accident that causes a major injury, there are 29 accidents that cause minor injuries and 300 accidents that cause no injuries.  Because many accidents share common root causes, he said, addressing more commonplace accidents that cause no injuries can prevent accidents that cause injuries.

Heinrich’s work is the basis for the theory of Behavior-based safety, which holds that as many as 95 percent of all workplace accidents are caused by unsafe acts. Heinrich came to this conclusion after reviewing thousands of accident reports completed by supervisors, who generally blamed workers for causing accidents without conducting detailed investigations into the root causes.

The webinar will address the question should safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals want to have an integrated safety system or are they too distracted by the argument to see what is already known? To build a world-class safety management system, some members recommend cutting out the distractions and focus on the pieces that best meet the needs of your organization.

The webinar will feature a keynote interview of Manuele, who recently generated a healthy debate in the SH&E community with the publication of his article, “Reviewing Heinrich: Dislodging Two Myths from the Safety Profession” in ASSE’s Professional Safety journal. The core premise of the article was that emphasis should be placed on the system, not on changing worker behavior. In the webinar interview, Manuele will discuss his article and answer questions from ASSE members.

In addition, Dr. Todd Conklin, who spoke to sold out crowds at an ASSE symposium on Human Behavior in San Antonio, TX, will deliver the opening session titled “Safety Management Systems: Unintended Consequences” at 9 a.m. CST, Thursday, March 29, to be followed by sessions on ‘Do We Really Want/Need a Safety Culture?’; ‘Implementing the Right Safety and Health Management System’; and ‘A Practitioner’s Approach to Utilizing Leading Indicators to Drive Safety Performance.’

The topics slated for Friday, March 30, to begin at 9 a.m. CST include the opening session by Robert Pater, Managing Director of Strategic Safety Associates & creator of MoveSMART® titled “Raising The Level of Cultural Leadership – Mobilizing Your Organization to a Higher Level of Culture and Performance” will be followed by Diffusion of Innovation; Measurement Systems; and, a closing panel discussion: Behavior-Based Safety and the System. 

Additional webinar speakers include ASSE Past President James “Skipper” Kendrick, CSP, president, Kendrick Global Enterprises, LLC; Deborah R. Roy, MPH, RN, COHN-S, CET, CSP, corporate director of Health, Safety & Wellness, L. L. Bean, Inc., Freeport, ME; Jack Toellner, P.E., CSP, MPH, senior safety consultant, ExxonMobil Development Company; Dianne Stober, PhD, managing partner, Cognitive Change Concepts, Inc.; Dr. Earl Blair, CSP, associate professor and program director for the Graduate Program in Safety Management at Indiana University in Bloomington; Joel N. Tietjens, president, T-JENS & T-JENS, INC., CSP, CSHM, Jim Spigener, senior vice president, BST.

As with all ASSE virtual symposia, all webinar sessions are recorded and available for viewing right after a live session ends. The webinar offers attendees the ability to watch sessions live or ON-DEMAND, allows for interacting with peers and speakers from around the world in the virtual symposium network, provides access materials such as papers, videos, session slides and more. Attendees can earn 1.6 CEUs.

To register go to http://www.asse.org/education/changing_behaviors/.

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information, please go to http://www.asse.org/education/virtualclassroom.php or to www.asse.org.


Diane Hurns, 847-768-3413, dhurns@asse.org


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