November 19, 2007 | Chris Vallee

“group processes and willingness to approach others about safety were somewhat related to accidents”..Is this your thought too?

Human Factor Series 2: Encourage rewarding of safe group processes and individual willingness to stop suspected unsafe conditions

Why not just focus on unsafe conditions and not suspected unsafe conditions too? Do your supervisors encourage or even empower your employees to stop a procedure if they think it could be detrimental to the product, themselves, or the customer? As senior leadership what is your reaction to an employee who stops the manufacturing line for suspected safety issues and it turns out to be a false alarm?

One example that comes to mind is “Seventy-three seconds after the countdown clock reached zero the Challenger exploded”. While group think is the leading theory behind this launch failure, the underlying root causes are the failure to enforce standards, the need for complex knowledge decisions, and accountability needs improvement. Had TapRooT® been used for the root cause analysis would the findings and culture be different today?

Are more missed safety findings more important to your company than stopping more false alarms? See the change of criterion based on employee focus. To put it simply, if you reward schedule only then the company rewards the hero employee willing to make sacrifices.

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