Safety Labs by Slice

This week on Safety Labs by Slice: Ep. 24 Scott Gesinger. Scott combines philosophy, history, and psychology to provide HSE professionals with a fascinating overview of the origins of workplace safety, the current EHS landscape, and how the industry evolves going forward.

Show Notes

In this episode, Mary Conquest speaks with Scott Gesinger, an experienced safety director and author of The Fearless World of Professional Safety in the 21st Century.

Scott guides safety professionals on a high-level tour of the past, present and future of workplace safety. He begins with the origins of modern safety practices, which emerged after a high-profile disaster in 1911 that was widely publicized across new media channels.

We discover the impact of pioneers such as Heinrich and Deming on safety management, but Scott also explains how fundamental biases and complacency have harmed the profession. It became far too easy to blame individuals and ignore wider systemic safety issues, and EHS professionals became too focused on near misses that could never cause serious harm.

Scott encourages current HSE professionals to remove subjectivity from accident causation, adopt a sandwich approach to safety management with equal emphasis on co-workers and management, and focus on designing processes for humans.

Looking forward, he believes technology, diversity and empathy are key to ensuring that safety remains a relevant scientific and engineering profession that doesn’t get overtaken by other disciplines.

Scott’s book - The Fearless World of Professional Safety in the 21st Century:

Scott Gesinger on LinkedIn:

Jaws - the film Scott recommends all safety professionals should watch:

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What is Safety Labs by Slice?

Safety Labs by Slice is a podcast where we explore the human side of safety to support safety professionals. We move past regulations and reportables to talk about the core skills of safety leadership: empathy, influence, trust, rapport. In other words, the soft skills that help you do the hard stuff.