Episode Summary

In this episode, David and Drew discuss the role and impact of senior leadership safety visits and management walkarounds in safety management programs. The episode explores how management walkarounds can influence staff perception and the effectiveness of safety programs, and scrutinizes how the same general initiative can have different outcomes depending on its implementation.

Episode Notes

The research paper discussed is by Anita Tucker and Sarah Singer, titled “The Effectiveness of Management by Walking Around: A Randomised Field Study,” published in Production and Operations Management.

Discussion Points:

  • Understanding senior leadership safety visits and management walkarounds
  • Best practices for safety management programs
  • How management walkarounds influence staff perception
  • Research findings comparing intervention and control groups
  • Consequences of management inaction
  • Effective implementation of changes
  • Role of senior managers in prioritizing problems
  • Impact of patchy implementation
  • How leadership visits affect staff perception
  • Investigating management inaction
  • Effective implementation and consultation


  • The same general initiative can have very different effectiveness depending on how it’s implemented and who’s implementing it
  • When we do any sort of consultation effort, whether it’s forums, walkarounds, reporting systems, or learning teams, what do we judge those on? Do we judge them on their success at consulting or do we judge them on their success at generating actions that get taken?
  • The answer to our episode’s question – Your answer here at the end of our notes is sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on the resulting actions.


Link to the Paper

The Safety of Work Podcast

The Safety of Work on LinkedIn