What We Do
We use the latest scientific discoveries in neuro-biology and evidence-based behavioural research to help people minimise inattention and reduce incidents.
Organisations manage safety by:
Fixing the environment
Improving the system
Making safety more conscious
Approaching safety in these three ways has merit, but these days it is not enough to prevent many incidents, even serious ones. Up until 10 years ago, that was all we thought there was. Today, we know better.
We help people upgrade their skills and habits to safer ones by minimising inattention, thereby improving safety performance by 50-70% within 6 months.
HabitSafe explains the significant role played by inattention in safety incidents and outlines the major causes of it. HabitSafe also helps people with activities that minimise inattention.
People once thought that it was impossible to minimise inattention. The latest scientific research on neuroplasticity proves otherwise and our success verifies it.
If you are a business leader or responsible for managing safety in your organisation and you want to minimise avoidable incidents; HabitSafe may be the most important investment you will ever make to help your people maximise control of their own safety.
Still having incidents?
Effective leaders realise people’s behaviour has a lot to do with safety incidents.
First Generation Safety started in the early 1980s and focuses on eliminating hazards and educating people on the remaining ones by training, risk management and consultation within a Safety Management System framework.
After it was introduced safety improved considerably, but incidents still happened.
Second Generation Safety started in the 1990s and focuses on people’s conscious decisions and treatment of risk by having conversations about the importance of safety. Using the psychology theories of the time, it helped people make safer deliberate choices.
After it was introduced safety also improved, but incidents still happened.
Organisations that have good first/second generation safety in place are still having incidents, some of them serious.
Today, the latest neuroscience is showing that first/second generation safety is a good stepping-stone to understanding human behaviour but, it is not enough.
Mapping studies of the brain clearly demonstrate the vast majority of our actions originate in the subconscious, especially when repetition leads to familiarity.
Neuroscience is unravelling our brain’s biology, something we need to understand if we are to influence people's behaviour. Any guesswork is being progressively removed by discovering the actual brain activity occurring in real time, something psychology was never able to do. It has resulted in a deeper and more reliable understanding of human behaviour being used to improve safety performance.
This is Third Generation Safety.
The Power of Third Generation Safety
Neuroscience has uncovered many aspects of the human condition. The biggest and most prominent discovery as it relates to safety is that inattention is more common than people think.
Research has identified inattention in more than 94.7% of injuries*.
Most people believe that what they pay attention to is based on risk, the amount of hazardous energy present or what’s important. This is true for some of the time, but not as often as most people think.
Most of the time what people pay attention to is based on what they have conditioned themselves to pay attention to through repetition. This does not always result in the safest way of doing things.
The problem with inattention is that it leads to undesirable safety outcomes. These are often interpreted incorrectly (a throwback from first/second generation safety) as a lack of compliance with rules or procedures, or poor conscious decision-making. The person is often deemed as careless, having a bad attitude or not committed to safety.
Traditional approaches to rectify inattention concentrated on:
Retraining, in case the problem was a lack of knowledge.
Reviewing the decision-making framework for the person, in case it was a “bad” decision.
Discipline, in case it was a deliberate act.
The Attention Disruptors:
Autopilot, rushing, frustration and fatigue
Unfortunately, neuroscience and extensive practical research has shown that inattention is not able to be solved by these traditional approaches. Attributing tiredness, outside distractions, problems at home or other external factors outside of the control of the workplace doesn’t help either.
A new perspective is needed, and with it, a new solution.
HabitSafe has identified the universal Inattention Pattern that helps people understand how inattention comes about.
Although inattention cannot be eliminated, the latest neuroscience shows how it can be minimised considerably.
HabitSafe uses this new information to enable people to improve skills and habits by applying six powerful, brain-friendly and easy-to-use tools that minimise inattention by up to 90% everywhere - at work, at home and on the road.
When HabitSafe is rolled out in the workplace, collective skills and habits (that is, safety culture) also improve considerably together with a corresponding reduction in incident rates.
* Patterson, J. Shappell, S. “Operator error and system deficiencies: Analysis of 508 mining incidents and accidents from Queensland, Australia using HFACS.”
The modern day safety problem
Most incidents don’t happen because the person didn’t know about the hazard or the controls specified, or lacked the required training, or made an unsafe conscious decision.
Incidents typically happen because the person wasn’t paying attention at the time, and as a result, came into contact with a hazard.
The problem of inattention cannot be solved by first/second generation safety alone. We are accustomed to attributing tiredness, problems at home, outside distractions and other external factors beyond the control of the workplace.
Research has identified that out of the 94.7% of injuries caused by inattention, the vast majority result in a line-of-fire interaction, slips, drops, falls or over-exertions.
Our ability to predict and control distractions and external factors is limited. However, we can minimise inattention and help people continue to do their work safely when distractions occur. But to do so we need to understand how inattention comes about.
HabitSafe educates people on what to do to minimise inattention.
HabitSafe creates a shared language and structure around what everybody knows and refers to as “common sense”
How does HabitSafe minimise inattention?
Not only are people unaware that inattention is involved in 95% of incidents, but they believe they are attentive and always do things consciously. That’s certainly the way it feels to most of us.
The problem is that people have a limited capacity for attention. This means that inattention is common and impossible to avoid all the time.
Most people think that what they pay attention to is based on risk, the amount of hazardous energy present or what’s important. Sometimes, that’s true.
But what we pay attention to the most is what we have conditioned ourselves to pay attention to by repetition... which is not always the safest.
Most of the time we are inattentive, nothing happens (no incident) so we continue to repeat the inattention and we end up with it in our skills and habits. This takes place without us even being aware of it, making it a huge blind spot for most people.
Brain science research has shown that most of our behaviour originates in our subconscious.
We have learned that neurochemicals come into play at crucial moments, like when we are rushing, frustrated or fatigued. Other neurochemicals help us pre-program our autopilot responses.
These neurochemicals control what we do in ways we never imagined and help explain once and for all, why people do what they do.
But because it happens below our conscious awareness, people catastrophically underestimate the significant role the subconscious plays in determining behaviour.
HabitSafe understands this and has used it to develop a program that helps people re-wire their subconscious to be habitually safer.
The program provides six simple-to-use tools that minimise inattention. When people apply these tools, they reduce incidents from day one.
HabitSafe works with all levels of management to help upgrade peoples skills and habits for safer ones.
If you are a business leader or responsible for managing safety in your organisation
and you want to minimise avoidable incidents; HabitSafe may be the most important investment you will ever make to help your people retain control of their own safety.