Tools to Help You Stay Focused and Avoid Operating on Auto-Pilot

Have you ever been on auto-pilot?  Was it on purpose or did you unconsciously drift to auto-pilot when performing a common task?

I think at one time or another we have all found ourselves mindlessly repeating the same activity that we have done many times before without thinking about it.  It might be our drive home or mowing the yard.  It might be completing that required hazard hunt for this month’s safety engagement program.  Or it might be the fifth hot work permit that I have completed today.   And most times it turns out ok – until it doesn’t.

Visual Literacy is all about what we see, what it means, and what we do about it.  We can avoid the potential impact of having our “blinders” on if we have the knowledge and tools to work differently – to see differently.   We can slow down, look deeper, and avoid the miss that turns into an incident now or later.

Below is a webinar recording on the value of Visual Literacy – A New Approach to Engage Employees and Mitigate Risks. We focus on getting out of auto-pilot and applying a disciplined approach to seeing what is in front of us.  By reliably seeing what is in front of us, we have more opportunities to make the right interpretation of the risk it represents and take action to avoid the incident that might occur. 

Watch Webinar: A New Approach To Engage Employees And Mitigate Risks

Doug Pontsler

Doug is Chairman and Managing Director for COVE, the Center of Visual Expertise. Launched in 2018 by the Toledo Museum of Art, COVE is dedicated to the application of visual literacy for industrial and service applications with an emphasis on safety. In this leadership role he is responsible for all aspects of the enterprise including thought leadership, product development and client satisfaction. Prior to his current role, Doug was the former vice president of operations sustainability and EHS for Owens Corning. He joined Owens Corning in 2002 and held leadership positions including director of corporate services and vice president of global sourcing. Doug also served as a member of the National Safety Council Board of Directors and as the Chairman of the Campbell Institute at the National Safety Council. He is a recipient of NSC’s 2019 Distinguished Service to Safety Award. Follow Doug on LinkedIn


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