Dysfunctional Practices that Kill Your Safety Culture (and what to do about them)

Thursday, October 11, 2022 • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon • Location: Reno Ballroom

Timothy Ludwig, Ph.D.

A man finds himself on the top step of a step ladder; a woman removes the guard to her machine; a worker is not wearing her safety glasses in the plant; a roustabout uses the wrong sized clamp instead of retrieving the right tool from the supply truck; a supervisor teaches a new worker to take short cuts; a mechanic climbs on top of the active machine to find the oil leak. Why do these folks do these things? Is it because they are stupid?

Our tendency is to blame workers and label their personal failings as the cause of safety errors. Labeling does not solve problems that cause error.  It is an illusion of human perception leading us to false conclusions resulting in dysfunctional practices that hurt the safety of our workers and the effectiveness of the systems we put in place to protect them.  Learn a better way to analyze the behaviors of your employees to understand how they were put in a position to take the risk in the first place.

Dr. Ludwig’s long awaited book is now available on Lulu.com and Amazon.com in all formats. DYSFUNCTIONAL PRACTICES that kill your Safety Culture (and what to do about them) is down to earth, funny, sardonic, at times heart-warming; full of stories and characters, deadly serious and also a bit irreverent, and easy to read. Learn the practices that kill your Safety Culture and get proven tips on how to fix them.  Get your copy, e-copy, or audio copy today!

Tim Ludwig earned his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech researching the benefits of employee-driven behavioral safety programs under E. Scott Geller continuing his post-doctoral work in industrial engineering studying applications of W. Edwards Deming to quality and safety improvement. His popular website Safety-Doc.com is a content-rich resource of safety culture stories, blogs, research, videos, and services. Dr. Ludwig was cited in Industrial Safety and Hygiene News (ISHN) “Power 101” Leaders in the Safety and Health World. Dr. Ludwig serves on the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies’ Behavioral Safety Accreditation Commission that reviews best-in-industry safety practices and offers independent, objective feedback on safety programs. 

Dr. Ludwig is a Distinguished Graduate Professor at Appalachian State University where he teaches in the nationally recognized Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Human Resources Management Masters program. Dr. Ludwig's teaching has been recognized with the North Carolina University Board of Governors’ Excellence award and has been inducted into the University's Academy of Outstanding Teachers. Dr. Ludwig served as editor of the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management and is the past President of the Organizational Behavior Management Network.

Dr. Ludwig is the author of dozens of scholarly research that empirically document the successes of methods to improve safety and quality in industry through behavior-based solutions. His books include Intervening to Improve the Safety of Occupational Driving which reviewed 10 years of behavior-based safety in the product delivery industry, Behavioral Systems: Understanding Complexity in Organizations which presented contributions from 15 top scholars and practitioners in the field of Behavior Systems Analysis, and Sources of Behavioral Variance in Process Safety: Analysis and Intervention which seeks to translate research in behavioral science to efficacious applications for Process Safety Management. His newest book Dysfunctional Practices that Kill your Safety Culture (and What to Do about it) draws on his experience working internationally with safety programs seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

He has over 25 years of experience in research and practice in behavioral safety where he integrates empirical findings into his safety consulting. Within his consulting practice Dr. Ludwig has helped assess, design, and implement safety and quality improvement programs in: Oil and Gas (Schlumberger, Husky Energy, Marathon Petroleum Company), Transportation (Union Pacific), Mining (Newmont, Alpha Natural Resources, DRA of South Africa), Manufacturing (Newell Rubbermaid, Corning, TRW Automotive, Nucor Steel, Fairbanks Morse Engine, Andersen Windows, Kimberly Clarke, Timbar, FMC Corp., Albany International, Eastman Chemicals, CertainTeed, Boyles Furniture) Construction (Costain, USI, S&ME, DRA), Utilities (Arizona Public Service Company, Tennessee Valley Authority, Connectiv Energy), Food Distribution (SuperValu, National Grocers of Canada, MDI, Domino’s Pizza,), and Government (NASA, US Navy-Naval Sea Systems Command, US Navy-Space Warfare, US Department of Energy, US Department of the Interior).  He also has provided his expertise in Behavior Systems Analysis, Strategic Planning, and Quality Improvement to numerous private and government organizations.

  • Dr. Ludwig’s recent keynote presentations include speeches at dozens of corporate safety conferences and:
  • ENFORM Oil and Gas Conference, Banff, CN
  • 6th & 7th European Conference on Behavior-Based Safety and Applied Behavior Analysis, Rome, Italy;
  • Safety Week Keynote, Langley Research Center, NASA;
  • HSE Transformation Leadership conference for the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, Abuja, Nigeria;
  • 5th Annual Safety Culture Forum, Beijing, China;
  • International Symposium on Behavior-based Safety and Safety Management, Beijing, China;
  • Occupational Health & Safety Management Summit, Bogota, Columbia;
  • International Conference on Occupational Risk Prevention, A Coruna, Spain;
  • AmCham's Health Safety and Environment Conference & Exhibition, Trinidad;
  • Behavioral Safety Now (multiple years);
  • Behavior Management Training Leadership Conference, Darington, United Kingdom,
  • People-Based Safety Conference (multiple years),
  • American Society of Safety Engineers conferences & schools (multiple years)
  • and at state-level Association for Behavior Analysis conferences throughout the United States.