2017 Summit Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Timothy Ludwig

Dr. Timothy Ludwig (SafetyDoc.com & Appalachian State University) is a Summit-veteran (that’s putting it lightly … as he’s actually the Summit founder) and comes with almost 30 years of behavioral safety expertise. His behavioral safety prowess has earned him various awards within both the behavioral safety field, as well as a teacher.
So how did pizza and Geller unite to get Tim involved in the behavioral safety field?
“I completed my graduate degree at Virginia Tech under the mentorship of E. Scott Geller, a guru in behavioral safety. Admittedly, I was more interested in organizational performance issues such as quality improvement. I just found that targeting safety variables in my research created much more controlled applied laboratories than other operational variables. Indeed, my research with pizza deliverers allowed me to observe the same individual drive a dozen trips a night. Multiply that times 25 drivers and you can really see the impact of your safety interventions,” Tim says.
Post-doctorate, Tim says he continued researching safety while he consulted organizations in quality improvement and strategic planning, but the attention from his research and his desire to help people pulled him back into the safety world.

Tim will be delivering this year’s Capstone Summit presentation, which will focus on the need for organizations to consider latent or "less obvious" sources of safety hazards. He says he hopes his presentation will teach attendees that even mature safety management programs are not immune to potential problems. These established systems can “lull us into complacency to increase the likelihood of latent hazards finding their way to the surface.”

His interest in this topic came from a unique source --- a real-life Shawshank Redemption. While providing his behavioral safety know-how to help two clients review their safety management systems, safety culture, and Process Safety issues, Tim says he “was riveted to news stories reporting on two inmates who had escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York.”

“Both clients had a strong reporting culture and were catching the obvious hazards and clear risks in their workplace. Yet they were concerned about the latent hazards, those lurking behind the obvious that could conspire to cause serious injury,” Tim says. “I found myself building systems searching for latent hazards and mitigating complacency where behavioral deviance had been normalized…the prison escape had me asking how hazards and risks may act like these convicts as they methodically chiseled concrete and iron fooling guards using concealed catwalks and inside help.”

No stranger to the safety conference stage, Tim says he “loves building energy in the crowd through humor, provocative stories, and reviews of research findings. You can get quite playful even with the largest audiences. And when you do, they deliver the energy right back to you.” He suggests Summit attendees invite colleagues in their company or in their regional ASSE or NSC group to join them in Boone this May.
“Sit together, take notes, and discuss what you learned. Keep the conversation alive until the next Safety Summit!”
We look forward to being energized and captivated by Tim’s insights into safety management improvement this May!
*By the way, we encourage you to heed Tim’s advice to invite colleagues to attend the 2017 Summit and so we’ve provided an awesome group discount! Groups with 5 or more attendees will save $100 per person – a $500 savings! Don’t have enough friends to help you take advantage of the group discount? Plan on networking and making new ones at our Pre-Conference workshops (SPACE IS LIMITED). Additionally, you can still save on registration by taking advantage of our Early Bird discount. Click here to register!

Timothy Ludwig