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May 7, 2024

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“We can boost our positive impact in the organisational system”: SHP speaks to Juliana Bley

For this year’s EHS Congress taking place between 22-24 May, we speak to Juliana Bley, Psychologist and Creator of SafetyLAB, ahead of her talk at the event.

Hi Juliana, could you tell us what SafetyLAB is?

Juliana Bley

SafetyLAb is a learning ecosystem which has the purpose of developing in EHS professionals and leaders the mindset and the competences for educating and engaging people. Our focus is to boost individual development as well as organisational learning. We all know that learning is one of the drives which supports and improves safe operations and healthy workplaces.

From the CEO to the operator, everybody needs to enhance their abilities in order to collaborate for safer decisions, healthy relationships and conscious management that should happen in the organisational daily routine.

Besides that, we have been facing a disruptive transformation in our work models which are shaping the urgency of upskilling and reskilling if we want to make the EHS performance more up-to-date, strategic and innovative in this new scenario.

SafetyLAB starts with an experience learning (designed as a 3-day laboratory). After that, the participants are invited to be part of a permanent learning community that supports them with their practical challenges as learning facilitators, through periodical meetings, active networking and discussion groups. We also support them with in depth development sessions and mentoring.

Your session will cover innovation in health, safety and environment – Why is innovation and growth crucial for the profession?

We will reflect, essentially, about innovation in learning processes. We want to explore the way that we educate, engage and support people’s performance in health and safety.

career progressionDespite the fact that organisational learning has evolved significantly in the last decades, it seems like the EHS area hasn’t kept up with this evolution. We still invest too much time and resources in traditional training, focused on a huge amount of information, old fashioned methods.

Our attention is traditionally oriented to talking about failure, mistakes, incidents and gaps. This is necessary, of course, but now we know that teaching people on how to work safely is more effective and sustainable. Learning programs have to prepare people to handle the challenges which they face daily in order to work safely.

In my presentation I’ll share some interesting outcomes we have been achieving in Brazil in preparing EHS professionals to become learning facilitators. We have several opportunities in this area to improve human skills, hosting people in creative and interactive workshops and inspiring decision-makers with better and stimulating new questions.

I believe we can boost our positive impact in the organisational system if we are more competent in promoting this opportune environment. The purpose of the Breakout Session is to experience practical facilitating activities that can amplify, through simple techniques, our personal learning toolkits.

How important are educational skills for health and safety (HS) professionals?

A big part of what an EHS professional does in their daily practice is about influencing, capacitating, orienting and coaching people, in different levels, from leadership to contractor. However, in general, these professionals’ education is often much focused on technical and legal aspects and little oriented to human skills that are essential to embed learning.

This can generate a significant gap between the skills they have now and the challenges they are facing in their efforts to improve a Culture of Caring in workplaces and in management.

Being prepared to design learning experiences by choosing interactive and modern methods and techniques, such as gamification, collaborative practices, actively listening, conversation techniques, learning with and from real work, creative group sessions can be strategic and impactful at this time. There is a big difference between the traditional roles of trainer, teacher, auditor and the facilitators’ role.

Promoting the abilities that make us better able to successfully face the new workplace realities that are rapidly emerging in the future is also the mission of HS professionals. The good news is that many of them are waking up to this urgent and relevant movement.

Would you say the roles of HR and HS are beginning to cross over?

What we’ve seen is that, with the arrival of technology and the optimization of processes, the HS professional’s role is no longer based on technical and legal aspects and is rapidly evolving into that context as a business partner, a coach, supporting the operation and the business as a whole.

“The HS professional can learn a lot from the path that HR has been on”

HS needs often to articulate and support the safety performance of different stakeholders such as operators, frontline leaders, managers, c-level, contractors, many production units immersed in different cultures. There is a lot of complexity in this and different audiences who need different types of support.

The HS professional can learn a lot from the path that HR has been on for a long time, since it has been incorporating the role of business partner (BP), which goes beyond being a technical and management area. And when it comes to learning, what we have fostered in the SafetyLAB ecosystem, which today has more than 700 professionals, is to create a close relationship between EHS and HR to think together about Learning.

It is important in order to collaborate to design development programs that are much more effective, efficient and deeply committed to the continuous improvement of safety practices, delivering a transformation that is powerful beyond compliance or the simple dissemination of information. Information does not equal learning.

Procedure does not equal behaviour. Concepts don’t automatically turn into accountable decisions. It’s a path of integration and change that depends on good learning spaces for.

What are you most looking forward to at EHS Congress this year?

It will be my third time at the EHS Congress and I’m very excited about everything! Every year, our “Brazilian group” is growing and I’m very happy about that. As a “serial learner”, I’d like to be able to take part in everything.

The speakers, researchers and thinkers I most admire will be there and I want to interact with them as much as possible. I’m carefully planning my schedule during the event to make the most of every moment, as this year I’ll be speaking on stage on the Day 1, talking to James MacPherson for the Rebranding Safety podcast on Day 2 in the morning and offering a Breakout Session in the afternoon. I’m sure it will be an impactful and energizing time for all of us!

Tickets are sold out, but livestreaming can be accessed via 2024 EHS Congress – Berlin | LinkedIn

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