Category Archives: Safety

Practitioner Spotlight: Have you ever heard of Safety and HU Professional, Todd Conklin?

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In a search for new ways for improving Human Performance, I met a really interesting Safety/HU professional, Dr. Todd Conklin from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. So far, he has written two books that are available for purchase right now: 2012’s “Pre-Accident Investigations” and 2013’s “Simple Revolutionary Acts.” I first discovered him through an online ASSE podcast (link below), and then YouTube (links below), and then through these books I quickly ordered on Amazon. This guy gets it, and is willing to share his lessons any way he can to improve performance. He and I have been trading emails over the past year and I’m very impressed with his grasp of humans and how organizations work. I asked if he would be willing to donate some autographed copies of “Pre-Accident Investigations” for some lucky attendants of the 2013 September INPO HU Conference, and he sent some out that got lost in the mail. When I notified him I didn’t receive them, he immediately sent more out, but they arrived at my house the day of the event (which was 1500 miles way). So, I have been giving them to HU Professionals I know will read them and put them to the best use. I have one left. If you would like it, email this site a quick note about a frustration you are having at your site, and a compelling email will be chosen from the submissions. All submissions will have an opportunity to be addressed in future blogposts.


I knew I liked this guy when I saw to whom he dedicated his first book: “To everyone who has ever asked ‘how’ instead of ‘why.'” Todd is a genuine person with a lot to offer an organization trying to improve. His often-used humor is unique and you can tell by listening or watching him that he is authentic and cares about people and process improvement. What’s not unique (editor note: this is a compliment) are the situations and explanations he uses – they are relatable to everyone, crossing industries and departments. I’ve read blog comments from his posts, and I’m not the only one this guy is drawing in. Because of Dr. Conklin, I’m ready to go research successful jobs and learn something new.

About the Book:

Time-pressed, professionals looking for practical guidance to shape their current or future safety programs should use this book.

Pre-Accident Investigations: An Introduction to Organizational Safety helps to identify complex potential incidents before they take place. Based around the ‘New View’ of human error, it offers established human performance theory in a highly practical context. Written in an engaging, conversational style, around several case studies, the book is grounded in reality, with examples with which anyone can identify.

It is an ideal aid for senior safety executives who want to spread the safety message among their colleagues. It is also an excellent choice for course tutors looking for a narrative-led primer.

Thought-provoking quotes from Dr. Conklin:

“You have to look beyond procedures, you have to look beyond behaviors in order to find the reasons for success or failure…”

“Safety is the ability for workers to be able to do work in a varying and unpredictable world.”

“Safety is not the absence of failures. Safety is the presence of defenses.”

“Safety is the freedom from unacceptable risk.”

Supportive Links

Predictive Solutions Blogpost

Katch Kan Ltd (Oil and Gas Industry) 2013 Safety Conference video

ASSE (American Society of Safety Engineers) virtual classroom Conklin podcast


At, we believe it is important to recognize and support the future thinkers and thought leaders in this growing field. Dr. Conklin has a busy 2014 planned out, but can be reached for keynote addresses, onsite-visits, investigations, webcasts, and for other considerations at