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NSSGA Podcast

Jul 7, 2022

Safety Consultant, speaker, writer, and facilitator Ronn Lehmann returns to the podcast today, fully armed with his more than 35 years experience as a safety consultant focusing on the human elements of work. As many will remember, Ronn has worked all over the world helping organizations and individuals acquire the mindsets, skill sets, and tool sets necessary to achieve success. He is back today to share another one of his many safety stories and offer his sage advice to listeners.

Episode Highlights:

  • Ronn's story today was shared with him by a foreman who did a safety huddle every morning but was worried that because he was the only one talking for the most part, those present weren't paying full attention to the safety message
  • He wanted to shake these huddles up to solve that issue and others such as making employees more aware of safety issues and having employees educate themselves and others on the reasons behind their safety rules
  • To resolve these issues, he decided that, any time he came across a safety infraction, he would give the employee involved the information behind that particular safety rule,  and had them present it to the rest of the team at the next safety huddle
  • The results were that safety violations dropped almost immediately, the people who had to do the presentations learned so much about the safety rule and the reason behind it, the group listened more closely during huddles, and the staff started closely monitoring the foreman's own safety practices

Toolbox Talk Discussion Questions:

  • Sometimes safety talks can feel monotonous. How can we implement these kinds of ideas to keep our safety talk engaging?
  • Safety is everyone’s responsibility. How can we keep each other accountable for our team’s safety?
  • Does anyone have a story about a safety lesson that has really stuck with you?


“Since it was always him talking, people were sort of checking out.”

For instance, if he found one of his crew wasn't wearing their eye protection, he would say, 'Okay, at tomorrow's safety huddle, you're going to present on the topic of eye protection.' And he would give them a sheet of paper that had the information. And he'd say just 'I want you to look this over and then share this with our team and talk about why it's important to wear your safety protection.'”

As we humans know, nobody wants to present, nobody wants to talk in front of the group. So in order to avoid that they all got really much better about their safety.”

A very interesting side effect was the whole team was super vigilant to try and catch the foreman, and they did one day. He didn't have his hard hat on, and they caught him and said, 'You have to present tomorrow on why we wear hard hats.' And he did. And so the whole team kind of really rallied around that.”

I just think it's a wonderful best practice, and I share it as much as I can because we're all trying to learn from each other.”

In my world, a great leader is... not going to ask someone to do something that you're not willing to do yourself.”


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