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Beth Lay, Director of Safety and Human Performance

Recent Posts

Scan & Focus

September 30, 2020

Have you ever seen the episode of The Simpsons when Ned Flanders is discussing the difference between apple cider and apple juice? Homer’s brain floats away saying, “You can stay but I’m leaving.” We can all relate. When our brains get bored, we zone out. That’s why, at Lewis, we’re learning a situational awareness tool called “scan and focus.”

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Focusing on Work Zone Safety

September 23, 2020

An interesting pattern emerged when we began analyzing close call data at Lewis Tree Service. When considering frequency, we learned that line of fire—by vehicle—has as much serious injury potential as struck-by, tree-related incidents. Yet, if you studied just our incident data, that picture would not emerge.

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Using Safety Data to Improve Learning

July 27, 2020

“It was 4:30 in the afternoon on nice, sunny day. Our crew had performed regular trimming on multiple oak trees around a three phase and was stacking brush while getting ready to shut down for the day. One of the crew members went to remove the drop zone cones when all the sudden he heard the sound of a limb slam on the ground. The employee was...

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Managing Risk and Uncertainty in Unprecedented Times

July 15, 2020

Note: This article was originally published by the Resilience Engineering Association.

Asher Balkin is a Research Engineer at the Cognitive Systems Engineering Laboratory at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Asher has worked in fields as diverse as public health, international security, surgical research, and human/automation interaction.

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Learning From What Goes Well

September 27, 2019

Have you ever been on a job site where no incidents were occurring, but unsafe practices were present? Take a moment to think about that and let it sink in. Accidents may represent a lack of safety, but a lack of accidents does NOT represent safety.

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Engage the Uns

September 19, 2019

We’ve been trained for decades to do a thorough pre-task brief focused on identifying and managing every risk. While this is a good practice, there’s one, major problem: vegetation management is complex and highly variable. We’re lacking the certainty that can be found in routine environments.

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What is Safety?

January 10, 2019

Safety is often defined and measured more by its absence than by its presence.  — James Reason (2000)

Imagine trying to drive a car by only looking in the rearview mirror. 

Traditional safety spends a lot of effort looking backward and counting and analyzing incidents.  Traditional safety is defined by the actions to avoid.  All the good work –...

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