Amanda Masterson and Barry Spurlock
Wednesday, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Wednesday, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Dismissed: How Employer Skepticism Filters Information and Hides Hazards
Many employers desire to be a proactive “learning organization” when it comes to occupational safety. Unfortunately, many organization’s safety leadership styles and management practices are not supportive of such. Known, unknown, intentional or not, skepticism by leadership when employees communicate concerns, aches and pains can greatly hamper an organization’s ability to uncover issues before they manifest as hazards, injuries and even fatalities. Granted, there exists the employees who have poor motives and report concerns that are baseless. Unfortunately, these outliers frequently cause safety leaders and supervisors to become jaded, and then unfairly dismiss often legitimate concerns of employees. Couple this tendency with the increased demands that electronic communications and the “gotta have it now world” place on the work environment, employee concerns are too often dismissed without careful and timely consideration. When leadership is keenly aware of the role information gatekeepers play and system designs that lead to filtering of information, they start to see deep system problems that could help them avoid not only the minor strains and sprains of work, but also serious injuries and fatalities. This session provides strategies for participants to be great – not just good - safety leaders and identify issues before they ever become problems (aka – hazards). It also helps reveal the often-unknown negative effects of undue skepticism on worker safety concerns and demonstrates how safety leaders can strategically prevent employees from being dismissed!
Ms. Masterson is a Certified Safety Professional with fifteen (15) years experience in safety management across multiple industries including aluminum and plastic extrusion, food and pharmaceutical packaging, and automotive. She is currently the US Region HSE Manager at Faurecia Interiors Systems. Amanda served in every officer position for the American Society of Safety Professionals Louisville Chapter for over thirteen (13) years and is currently serving as the Vice President of Professional Development. She brings level-headedness and calm to any situation and finds that humor brings everyone together. Amanda’s approach to managing safety is to get eye-to-eye with employees in the workplace and empower them to actively participate in making improvements.
Mr. Spurlock, Esq., CSP, is a safety professor at Eastern Kentucky University and a founding partner with Crump Spurlock, where he represents employers in various proactive and litigation matters involving OSHA and employment law. Before law and academia, Barry spent sixteen (16) years as a safety professional in the steel, food, and insurance industries, and also adjunct faculty for Indiana University. Barry holds a B.S. in Industrial Safety & Risk Management, and a M.S. in Loss Prevention and Safety Administration, both from EKU. He also holds a Juris Doctor from NKU’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law. Barry serves the ASSP as the current Government Affairs Chair of the Louisville Chapter, and faculty advisor for the EKU Student ASSP. He is a past two (2) term member of the ASSP Society Government Affairs Committee. He has authored numerous articles and books on safety management, safety measurement, workers’ compensation, and safety-related legal issues.