OwlTail

Cover image of The Safety Leader Podcast

The Safety Leader Podcast

The Safety Leader Podcast introduces the next level in safety. A safety leader takes safety beyond rules compliance to a shared goal that recognizes the importance of each individual on the job. Supervisors and safety people are uniquely positioned to become safety leaders and to bring workplace safety past compliance and across the threshold to where safety becomes personal.The front line is where the culture of an organization is made and reinforced. Past all the processes and procedures are people. Safety starts with people. I commit to you to give you my best ideas, tips and strategies to help make your job as a supervisor or front-line safety person easier and more effective. That's what the Safety Leader Podcast is all about.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Popular episodes

All episodes

The best episodes ranked using user listens.

Podcast cover

Ep 20 - 3 C's to Becoming A Better Safety Supervisor

Two years is a long time to be trying to get it right as a supervisor. Especially when it comes to safety. On this episode, the three C's to becoming a better safety supervisor. Does your workplace take the most senior employee in a crew and promote that person into a supervisory position? And then leave them to hang without skills, training and basic supervisory tools? Has it maybe happened to you? You know, there's a sense of irony that your company requires any employee or contractor on your job site to have proper training to operate a piece of machinery? But to supervise the people who are actually operating the machinery doesn't require any supervisory training? Workplaces want their supervisors to mentor and coach the younger, less-experienced workers. But a lot of those same supervisors don’t get the skills and tools to do the job with any kind of competence. It can take a new supervisor up to two years to find his or her own workable management style. So, let's see if we can't shorten that two-year curve. Here is a 3-part formula to improve your effectiveness as a supervisor or safety person. Each part of the formula starts with the letter C. Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

8mins

10 Apr 2017

Rank #1

Podcast cover

Ep 25 - Is Safety Tolerance Worse Than Safety Complacency?

http://www.kevburns.com Helping employees overcome their tolerance to safety rules paves the way for them to see their own win for buying-in to safety. On this week's episode, how tolerance to safety rules may be worse that complacency. Tolerance should become a serious consideration for supervisors and safety people. We all know that there has been plenty of talk about the hazards of complacency in safety. And the whole complacency conversation is gaining attention. But when you look for the actual definition of complacency, what you read may surprise you. Here's what the Merriam-Webster dictionary had to say about complacency: Complacency is self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. In other words, when people get comfortable with their performance, they may pay less attention to risks. And when people are satisfied with their performance, there is a risk of complacency. Tolerance, on the other hand, is the willingness to endure rules and procedures no matter how annoying they may be or how much you may disagree with something. When safety becomes an annoyance that needs to be tolerated, you are moving away from building a strong safety culture. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs. http://www.kevburns.com/peoplework

8mins

15 May 2017

Rank #2

Similar Podcasts

Podcast cover

Ep 41: 4 Things You Must Talk About At Safety Meetings

www.KevBurns.com You may not be talking about it, but you have to. On this episode, get your people engaged in safety by talking about four things at your safety meeting. Safety meetings started out as a legal requirement. You had to have them, they had to be recorded and the subject matter had to satisfy the Code. But nowhere does it state that you can’t add items to the safety meeting or that you can’t have fun and to speak-up in the meetings. The problem is, safety meetings traditionally focus on meeting the legal requirement of the code. That's it. No more. So, to make sure they meet the bare minimum of the code, companies buy templates for their safety meetings that are white-bread and innocuous checklists because they’ve been dumbed-down to appeal to as many industries as possible. Employees don’t buy-in to the safety program because it is presented as a set of rules and policies. Employees resist anyone who appears to want to force them to comply. And it's tough for employees to warm up to someone who incessantly talks about procedures, processes, inspections, and incidents. To change the perception of safety, you must change the conversations. Here are 4 things you should be talking about in safety meetings. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

7mins

10 Sep 2017

Rank #3

Podcast cover

Ep 013 When Quality Meets Safety

http://www.kevburns.com When engagement is missing, so is quality, pride and, sadly, safety. On this episode, three ideas and ways to connect safety to quality and, of course, pride in a job well done. It really matters. Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

10mins

17 Feb 2017

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

Podcast cover

Ep 012 - Safety is the Safety Guy's Job

http://www.kevburns.com On this episode, a little relief for safety folks who have to put up with unproductive opinions that safety is the exclusive responsibility of the safety person.  It's not unusual to hear from safety professionals that they still run into resistance from some members of the supervisory staff or even upper management that safety is the responsibility of the safety person. Most of this is usually centred around who does the paperwork, who fills out the forms and who handles reporting procedures. Nobody likes doing paperwork. People hate having to do more of it. And while there are paperwork requirements associated with safety, some supervisors and foremen still want the safety people to handle the safety conversations or to apply the rules. There are far too many people who still believe that safety is the responsibility of the safety department. That comes from not fully integrating safety into how we train our people, supervisors included. There are still too many workplaces that separate production and safety and treat safety rules as an add-on to the existing procedures. Here are 3 things you can do at toolbox and tailgate meetings or crew huddles to improve the level of personal responsibility on your job site. Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

9mins

6 Feb 2017

Rank #5

Podcast cover

Ep 21 - How to Build Better Influence as a Safety Supervisor

Are you aware that a front-line supervisor has more influence on safety performance than senior management? On this episode, we're going to discuss how front-line safety leaders can harness that influence to improve safety culture. The front-line supervisor, as the name would imply, lives at the front-line. And as a result, the front-line supervisor has more frequent contact with front-line employees - far more contact than anyone in a senior management position. That affords them the opportunity to have more influence in the safety culture at the front-line than senior management ever would. For the supervisor, it’s imperative that they understand that authority and influence are two very different things. Anyone can be the boss and throw their authority weight around. That takes no skill or talent ... or even confidence when you think about. Influence, though, takes a lot of skill and the right mindset. So, what comes first? Skill or mindset? I would say mindset because it will determine how you acquire your skills. Here are three strategies to adjust your mindset so that you, as a front-line supervisor or safety person, a safety leader, can develop better influence. Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

9mins

17 Apr 2017

Rank #6

Podcast cover

Ep 44: 4 Things Employees Want From Safety

www.KevBurns.com Data is not how you build a safety culture. Leadership is. On this episode, 4 things that employees need most from safety. -- Safety is about preparedness - yet most times even the safety meeting does not meet that standard. Seriously. How many times have you seen your own safety meetings get thrown together at the last minute, start late, run long and be so full of stuff that it left attendees wondering what was the important stuff? Every part of safety needs to be engaging. Yes, even the mundane stuff. Employees take their cues, not so much from what you say in meetings, but from what you do with them and your level of conviction about safety.  You need conviction when it comes to organizing and executing the safety program - including the meetings. If you want to engage employees to participate in the safety program and to own safety as one of their guiding principles, you have to give them what they want by delivering the example that you want. Here are the four things that employees want from the safety program. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs. 

9mins

1 Oct 2017

Rank #7

Podcast cover

Ep 43 - 4 Ways to Connect Safety to Leadership

On this episode, we are going to look at four different ways that you can connect safety to leadership. Leadership is not forced or thrust upon anyone. It’s voluntary. And personal safety leadership builds great teams. A commitment to teamwork and safety. It’s all you need to go from newbie or lowly front-liner to leader. To become a safety leader requires a commitment to the welfare of your teammates. You can't build a strong team without caring about the safety of the members of the team. In this way, you can use safety build leadership in safety and teamwork. Here are four ways that you can connect teamwork and leadership to safety. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

7mins

24 Sep 2017

Rank #8

Podcast cover

Ep 42 - 3 Reasons Safety Leaders Stumble

www.KevBurns.com To be a safety leader, you have to be not only better at the job than the others, but willing to pick yourself up when you stumble. Coming up, three reasons safety leaders stumble. The best organizations give world-class safety performance. They don't do it with a mediocre effort, mediocre standards or mediocre supervisors and safety people. They do it by surpassing industry average targets, a focused engagement with employees and with safety people and supervisors on top of their game. You don’t build championship teams by shooting for the middle of industry averages. You don’t instill a positive safety culture by settling for average performance. World-class safety is not achieved by a mediocre effort, standards or people who don’t seek to be exceptional.  Here's the problem. Not every safety person is a high-performer.  Here are three main reasons that many stumble in their pursuit of becoming safety leaders. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of |PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety.| He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

6mins

18 Sep 2017

Rank #9

Podcast cover

Ep 22 - Traits of Safety Leaders Part 01

Do you have the traits of a safety leader? Let's start to find out. On this episode, the first of a series of podcasts on the traits of safety leaders. Leadership requires no title or position. In fact, some of the best workplace leaders are just ordinary employees who happen to possess certain traits that causes others to look up to them and to seek their advice. Leaders are not managers necessarily although some management people may actually have many of leadership skills that this series of episodes is going to outline. Do you have the traits of a safety leader? Why not use this series of episodes on safety leadership as a self-assessment tool to determine how well you score? Here are the first three traits of safety leaders. Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs. http://www.kevburns.com

7mins

24 Apr 2017

Rank #10

Podcast cover

Ep 39: 6 Ways to Become A Respected Safety Leader

www.KevBurns.com Safety leadership is not just for those with a title. On this episode, we will talk about 6 Ways To Become A Respected Safety Leader. To become a safety leader, you have to first understand what safety leadership is not: it is not safety management. Since there is no requirement to be in management to be a leader, then it only makes sense that you don’t have to be in safety management to be a safety leader. Safety leadership is not just for those with a title. Safety leaders can be found on the front-lines too. They are willing to coach and inspire better safety performance through mosty, their example. You see, being a leader starts with being willing to go first. The first person to do something is the leader. Everyone else follows. But to go from safety person to safety leader, requires a mindset shift. So with that in mind, let's explore six mindset shifts that can cause you to become a better safety leader: - Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

8mins

27 Aug 2017

Rank #11

Podcast cover

Ep 29 - Improving Employee Motivation in Safety

http://www.kevburns.com Improve an employee's motivation to do the work and you improve their motivation to do the work safely. On this episode, we will explore four easy steps to improving employees' motivation in safety. As a front-line safety person or supervisor, you may not be aware of it but you have the greatest impact on employee motivation. In fact, the front-supervisor and safety people have far more influence on safety culture at the front-line than any senior managers ever will. It's true. The things you say, the things you do and the way you engage your people all influence motivation and safety culture. When an employee lacks motivation, there is a corresponding reduction in that employee's willingness to be engaged at work. That affects productivity. Without motivation to give their best, an employee will be more apt to take shortcuts. Shortcuts impact safety. Keep employees focused, engaged and motivated to do their very best and you build a team of high-performers willing to value themselves and each other. The best way to protect their value is by ensuring each others' safety. Motivation plays a clear role in the level of employee engagement and, subsequently, safety. So with that being said, here are four steps you can take to improve the motivation of your team. Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

7mins

12 Jun 2017

Rank #12

Podcast cover

Ep 15 - Heartfelt Safety Is Real

http://www.KevBurns.com Have you ever noticed that the people we seem to respect the most are the ones, the leaders, who are not afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves? On this episode, we are going to talk about soft-skills in safety and how heartfelt safety is a real thing. We are connecting with our hearts more than ever before; including how we connect with each other at work. our people care about things that make their communities better, and uplift people who need a hand and they are connecting with their hearts more than ever. Does your safety program connect with your people in the same way? If it doesn’t, you’re missing the bigger picture to connect your people to a common cause that looks out for each other. In safety, while your technical skills may get your foot in the door, your soft people skills are what will keep you there. Your ability to empathize, to connect and to feel are the soft skills that will help you excel as a leader. Problem-solving, motivating, and team building are all much easier if you have good soft skills. Knowing how to get along with people, a positive attitude and genuinely caring are skills crucial for success. Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

8mins

27 Feb 2017

Rank #13

Podcast cover

Ep 36 - 3 Conversations to Influence Better Safety Buy-in

www.KevBurns.com On this episode, we're going to arm you to get ready to have those one-on-one Conversations with your crews that help you better influence them to buy-in to the safety program. The one thing that will connect your continuous-cash-flow, your long-term investments and and the kind of legacy you leave behind, is safety. Without safety, everything is at risk. The safety department complains that it’s difficult to get workers to buy-in to safety. But really, is it any wonder that employees don't want to buy-in? I mean, safety has been positioned and promoted as an exercise in paperwork, rules and regulations. And if that's how it's been presented, it should be no surprise that employees resist buying-in to a program of checks, forms and paperwork. Especially the paperwork. To change that, go to Leadership 101; basic values-based conversations with employees. So, how do you have those conversations that lay out the framework for buying-in to safety? Here are three compelling conversations for supervisors and safety people to have with their crews one-on-one. The purpose of these conversations is to influence better buy-in to safety. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

8mins

31 Jul 2017

Rank #14

Podcast cover

Ep 28 - Build Safety Partnerships With Employees

http://www.kevburns.com In order for a safety partnership to work, there has to be mutual benefit. On this week's episode, how to build successful safety partnerships with employees and why it's important. The television shows Shark Tank (USA) and Dragon’s Den (Canada, UK, Australia) feature a panel of investors looking for a great product or idea to get behind. The entrepreneur makes a pitch to the investors. If the pitch is successful, the venture gets backing. If the pitch misses, or if the investors deem that there is too little benefit to them, they won’t invest. If there is no advantage for an investor, they won’t invest. There has to be a benefit for both partners. And before you can invite employees to become partners in a work project like safety, the benefits of safety have to be clear. In the safety partnership, each partner has to get something out of the deal. So let’s explore ways of building partnerships. Here are the first three steps into building safety partnerships with employees. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

6mins

15 Jun 2017

Rank #15

Podcast cover

Ep 26 - 6 Areas to Build Improvement in Safety Culture

http://www.kevburns.com Safety improves when engagement improves. Engagement improves when supervisors and safety people make it a point to value the people that they work with. On this episode, 6 areas to start building a better safety culture. An untrained or under-skilled supervisor or safety person tends to get the basics done. Nothing more. Get production. Stay within the safety rules. Everybody goes home safe (fingers crossed). Job done. Except, the job is not done. In fact, it could be argued that job is systematically being undone. If you’re focused on just getting it done, you may be missing the biggest part of the safety picture. A 2014 TINYpulse survey revealed the top ten list of things employees want from their work. Number 7 was money. There are six things that are more important to employees at work than money. Give employees these 6 things and you begin to change the corporate culture. Once you begin to shift the corporate culture, safety culture shifts with it. Supervisors and safety people have a great deal of control over both. Here is the list of six things that employees want more than money and what it means to safety. Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs. Learn moire about Kevin's book at http://www.kevburns.com/peoplework

8mins

22 May 2017

Rank #16

Podcast cover

Ep 19 - How To Get Employee Commitment To Safety

http://www.kevburns.com One of the most pursued issues by safety people is getting employees to commit to the safety program. On this episode, 3 ways to get better commitment to safety.  You need commitment to safety from especially the front line employees. Here's why. The majority of safety incidents happen at the front line. The largest numbers of workers are at the front line. The most amount of activity is at the front line. And so it's at the front line where the focus on safety needs to take place. It is at the front line where safety leadership is needed most. Now, let’s be clear. Leadership is not another word for management, even though managers hijack the word and use it interchangeably with their own title. The truth is, you don’t need to have a management title to be a leader. In fact, some of the best job-site leaders have no title at all. Every employee is quite capable of demonstrating some form of safety leadership. There are three more areas where you can get to work to build employee commitment to safety. Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.

9mins

30 Mar 2017

Rank #17

Podcast cover

Ep 37 - 3 Strategies to Fix Boring Safety Meetings (They Are Boring)

www.KevbUnrs.com Safety meetings are not supposed to be boring, but they are. So, on this episode, we'll explore two big problems with boring safety meetings and three strategies to fix them. Safety complacency is a big problem today but never moreso than safety meeting complacency: the lack of focused engagement in preparing engaging safety meetings. Safety folks don't invest any time or effort into fixing their meetings. They are complacent with the way things are. Attendees are bored and disengaged in safety meetings but nothing seems to change. Isn't that the very definition of complacency. But the whole conversation about complacent safety people will have to wait for another episode. This episode is going to focus on the 2 problems and real reasons safety meetings are traditionally so boring and then follow up with three strategies to overcome the problems and help you build better, engaging and focused safety meetings. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs. www.KevBurns.com/peoplework

11mins

7 Aug 2017

Rank #18

Podcast cover

Ep 45: 4 Ways To Make Safety Positive

Stop discussing the negatives of not being safe. Instead, focus on the positives of buying-in to safety. On this episode, 4 ways to make your safety program more positive. Ask employees about how they perceive the safety program and they will most likely answer that it's dull, boring, repetitive, mind-numbing, disengaging, and it tries to scare you into compliance. That's because safety has been focused on following rules and avoiding injury or accidents. But like everything else in life, safety evolves. As organizations are becoming more people-centric, they are integrating people-development programs. You cannot develop your people without including safety. The best-managed companies and employers-of-choice still value a profit but not at the expense of their good people. They are organizations that attract the best employees and hang onto them. As I say regularly, the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Here are the four most important ways to focus your safety program on positives. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs. www.KevBurns.com

8mins

15 Oct 2017

Rank #19

Podcast cover

Ep 33 - "Be Safe" Is A Terrible Safety Message

http://www.kevburns.com Downloading generic safety messages from the Internet can undermine your own safety program. On this episode, why the phrase "be safe" is a terrible safety message. Safety people and supervisors get concerned when their employees won't buy-in to safety. They also complain about employees' lack of engagement and a lack of accountability in the safety program. But what if the safety messaging is aimed below the intellect of the same people you're trying to reach? What if you've dumbed it down too far? What if you've underestimated your own people? Communications that miss the target can undermine your efforts in safety. Generic slogans and feeble safety campaigns downloaded from the Internet do not resonate with most people (Hint: there's a reason they're free for the taking on the Internet). And people do not connect with anything that doesn't resonate with them. A slogan for a slogan’s sake can do more harm than good. -- Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs. www.KevBurns.com/PeopleWork

7mins

10 Jul 2017

Rank #20