ISM Colloquium: Safety (Mis)Communications
“Safety (Mis)Communications: How to Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say,” an Integrated Safety Management (ISM) colloquium, will be presented by Jim Tarpinian, Tarpinian Consulting Services, on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, at 2 p.m. in the Bldg. 362 Auditorium.
Refreshments will be served.
This presentation explains why traditional approaches to safety communications actually work against our efforts to create a healthy safety culture.
One of the key objectives of effective communication is to avoid being misunderstood as well as to be understood. Supervisors and safety professionals often seek to motivate employees to work safely by communicating key messages briefly and simply so that there is no room for confusion. However, despite our best efforts and intentions we don’t get the results we were expecting. Why is this?
To avoid being misunderstood, we must understand the three perspectives of what we say, what we mean when we say it and what the audience actually hears.
One miscommunication example is the statement: “Safety is a condition of employment.” Management may send this message after a serious accident. The overused phrase is brief and to the point, but the message fails because it is a threat. Threats should never be associated with personal safety. They result in a disenchanted workforce where safety is equated with punishment, rules are not respected (and likely not questioned) and ideas for safety improvements are suppressed or not even offered. This condition is exactly the opposite of what was intended.
This interactive discussion will help you avoid the pitfalls of “safety sound bites” and will significantly increase your ability to create a positive, sustainable safety culture by explaining how to send the right message and avoid sending the wrong one.
Jim Tarpinian, principal consultant at Tarpinian Consulting Services, provides consultation to private and government entities on Environmental, Safety and Health performance strategies, technical and managerial support, safety culture leadership and change management.
From 2011 to 2015, Tarpinian served as the Environmental, Safety, Health and Quality (ESHQ) Director at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. From 2007 to 2009, he was the vice president of corporate ESHQ for Battelle Memorial Institute where he provided corporate leadership, technical support services and ESHQ oversight for Battelle operations including six national laboratories and international, commercial and government research facilities and operations. From 2003 to 2007 he served as the ESHQ director at Brookhaven National Laboratory
Tarpinian has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Connecticut at Storrs and a master’s of science degree in radiological sciences and protection from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He is a certified health physicist, trainer, mediator and coach.