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Quick Talk 8

Management and​​ Leadership

Management and Leadership Track

Tuesday, October 31

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Moderator: Michael Rosenow, MPH, CIH, CSP, OSH-ISH – Programs Team Leader, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM.​

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

I Asked 25,000 People To Tell Me About Safety Culture. This is What I Learned

Presenter: Jeffrey Miller, PhD, CIH, CSP, Sr. Scientist, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, TN.

There are some organizations that place a higher value on the well-being of their workforce than others. Their safety culture permeates the organization from top to bottom. How did they develop that? Have they cracked a secret code? Was it programmed into their corporate DNA? Was it the leader of the organization? I spent 5 years studying organizations to better understand their safety culture.  We analyzed the data and found that there was one dominant factor that accounted for the variance in safety culture between organizations. It was the behavior of the leaders, the decisions they made, and the systems they installed that most influenced the workforce’s perception of safet​​y culture.  We translated this knowledge into a management development tool called the Blue Cube.  We developed the Blue Cube to help managers better understand how to relate to their workforce. Our experience and research suggests that employee discontent is associated with management’s failure to recognize the five root causes. 

Employees seek:

  • To be recognized as an individual 
  • To be respected 
  • A sense of stability 
  • Fairness 
  • To make a difference 

To change an organization’s safety culture, target management behavior and decision making for the greatest return on investment. A Blue Cube will be provided to each participant. 

11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Successfully Making the Transition from Doer to Leader

Presenter: Paul Pirkle, MSIH, PE, CIH, Research Leader, Battelle, Atlanta, GA.

Transitioning from doer to leader can be challenging.  Consider this common scenario: after more than four years of rigorous OEHS schoolwork I was hired, in large part due to my skillset, then learned how to apply my craft, received a lot of recognition, and was honored with two promotions in five years.  Now I am being asked to lead the OEHS team.  I have mixed emotions about this "opportunity."  While thrilled about this new challenge and being entrusted with the responsibility, I'm not sure I want to leave the role for which I became known.

During this session, we will explore some of the tips and pitfalls related to this type of transition.  We will talk about the connections between leaders, followers, and the team's objectives.  We will talk about mentoring, motivation, and accountability.  We will talk about becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable.  And more!​​​​​​​​​​



Name and Bio

Jeffrey Miller, PhD, CIH, CSP, Sr. Scientist, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, TN.

Dr. Jeffrey Miller, CIH, CSP is recognized throughout the U.S. for his substantial contributions to industrial hygiene and the protection of workers and the public. He is a scientist, mentor, business leader, and volunteer committed to advancing the profession and has made significant contributions to AIHA national and three local sections over the past 30-years. He was elected Director for the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and currently serves as Chair-elect. He is a subject matter expert in occupational exposure assessment and served as chair of the AIHA Exposure Assessment Strategies Committee, taught PDCs, and contributed to peer-reviewed publications on the subject. He is an expert in Beryllium Worker Protection having conducted exposure assessments throughout the U.S., developed surveillance programs, and conducted original research on the subject. He is recognized as an expert in safety culture, recently developing a widely used survey instrument and other evaluation methods. He has been a mentor to dozens of industrial hygienists, some of whom are now leaders in the profession. He spent 10-years as CEO of three companies that provided ES&H and medical services. He currently serves as Technical Director of the Center for Safety Studies at Oak Ridge Associated Universities where he leads exposure studies, conducts risk assessments, analyzes the design of new manufacturing facilities, and evaluates safety culture in complex nuclear organizations.​

Paul Pirkle, MSIH, PE, CIH, Research Leader, Battelle, Atlanta, GA.

Paul possesses 25+ years of engineering experience. He leads a team using a systems engineering approach to solving challenges in focus areas such as remote site/deployment health, responder & community health protection during and following an incident, occupational & environmental health organizational leadership, and global business process identification & standardization. He is Past-Chair of the AIHA Incident Preparedness & Response Working Group and is  Secretary of the Management Committee. Pirkle is a Founding Advisory Board Member, Engineers Without Borders - Georgia Tech Chapter.​