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Harnessing the Power of HP to Prevent SIFs

Created By Dr. Josh Williams | Powered By Propulo Consulting

Organizational leaders are increasingly turning to Human Performance (HP) principles to improve safety culture and prevent SIFs. HP emphasizes the importance of improving environmental contingencies to encourage safe work practices. In other words, fix the system to improve safety and don’t blame employees following incidents. 

Basic HP tenants include (Williams & Roberts, 2018):
– Error-likely situations are predictable, manageable, and preventable. Most incidents are influenced by system factors like confusing procedures, excessive production pressure, faulty tools/equipment, insufficient personnel, and ineffective training.
– When SIFs occur, workers trigger latent conditions that already exist in systems, processes, procedures, and expectations. These conditions lay dormant until all the wrong events align perfectly to create gaps in worker protection.
– High reliability organizations have effective engineering (e.g., safeguards on equipment), administrative (e.g., procedures), and cultural (e.g., organizational values for safety) defenses to mitigate the influence of human error and error precursors.
– Safety should not be viewed as the absence of events but rather the presence of solid, consistent defenses against human error.

Do your leaders incorporate human performance elements to improve safety culture and prevent SIFs? Take this quiz and find out.

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Meet The Expert

Dr. Josh Williams

Dr. Josh Williams

Partner, Propulo Consulting

Dr. Josh Williams is a Partner with Propulo Consulting, a global management consulting firm delivering significant and sustainable improvements in organizational performance. For over 20 years Josh has partnered with clients around the world to drive increased discretionary effort and improved strategic execution. He’s the author of Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention and received the Cambridge Center National First Prize for his research on behavioral safety feedback.

Meet the Expert

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