RSI Leadership Track:

Safety Culture & Leadership Innovation: Lessons Learned the Hard Way

by Shae Birkey, Safety Advisor, Caterpillar Safety Services

Monday, September 23

  • Part 1 – 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM
  • Part 2 – 3:45 PM – 4:30 PM

The term “safety culture” is often overused and misunderstood.  Most companies hold safety as one of their values – something that represents who they are at the core.  However, leaders and employees often fail to demonstrate that value by their words and deeds.  Leaders mean well, but many do not understand what is required of them to achieve “zero harm” on a daily basis.  If safety is a value, all employees should be involved in creating and following clearly defined and understood expectations. There must also be an effective management system in place to ensure those expectations are being met by all members of the organization, just like production & quality.  When an organization truly embraces safety as a value, there are dividends paid in the forms of improved quality, profitability, and morale.  This presentation explores the various aspects associated with an effective safety culture.

After attending this session, attendees will be better able to:

  1. Define the 7 criteria for safety and operational excellence
  2. Understand the 4 steps for effective accountability
  3. Understand leadership’s role in safety cultural excellence and improvement
  4. Understand positive recognition’s role in changing safety culture
  5. Understand how to effectively build safety into Operations
  6. Understand how to engage ground level employees in changing safety for better buy-in
  7. Understand the true cost of incidents


Join RSI and your rail industry colleagues from around the nation at the Minneapolis Convention Center, September 22-24, for the RSI Education & Technical Training Conference to be held in conjunction with Railway Interchange 2019.

Questions about the RSI Education & Technical Conference? Email


More About Caterpillar Inc.

For more than 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets.

With 2018 sales and revenues of $54.7 billion,  Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three primary segments – Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation – and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment.