Olympia Section April Meeting

  • Olympia Section April 2024 Meeting
     April 17, 2024 - May 4, 2024
     7:30 am - 9:00 am

Please join us for our April Section Meeting!

REMINDER! Our section is seeking leadership candidates for all positions! This is a great opportunity for professional development while serving the safety and health community.

Location: Blue Sky Room (Third Floor)
Washington Farm Bureau
975 Carpenter Road
Lacey WA 98516

Time: 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Networking and snacks 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
Chapter meeting via Zoom 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

THIS MONTH join the chapter with us to hear Jenniver Serne, Central Washington University Professor, as she presents “We think we know what happened- Cognitive Bias in Investigations.”

As humans, we are all prone to unconscious biases, whether we recognize them or not. Most of the time these natural psychological processes help us reduce our cognitive load when coping with the inherent complexity of our world. However, these sneaky mental shortcuts can also prevent us from developing an objective and accurate picture of the set of circumstances leading to an outcome.


This presentation will introduce the most common cognitive biases that impact decision-making when evaluating evidence to determine the causes of an incident and discuss some proven ways to mitigate these biases’ influence.


Safety professionals are often tasked with investigating incidents to learn how to prevent future incidents and find areas in which their organization can improve. Understanding how bias can impede the investigation process and some mitigative strategies strengthen a professional’s ability to maximize organizational learning from their investigations.


Jennifer Serne is the program coordinator and professor of Safety Health Management at Central Washington University. She teaches classes covering Hazardous Materials Management, Fire Safety, Incident Investigation, Emergency Response, Construction and Manufacturing Safety, Safety Analysis Systems, and Ergonomics and Human Factors. Previously, she worked in various safety-related positions that included experience with research safety, pharmaceutical safety, radiation safety, and emergency response. She also has 20 years of experience working as an independent fatality investigator, serving various clients and industries in 36 states and 6 countries. She has a Masters in Safety Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is currently writing her dissertation for her Ph.D. in human factors and industrial psychology. Her research portfolio includes work related to learning from failure, automation surprise, and mode confusion, how cognitive bias impacts decision-making in accident investigations, using storytelling to increase empathy during causal analysis, and the attribution of blame in fatal medical mistakes, assembly occupancy fire disasters, and serious aviation accidents.

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Venue:   Washington Farm Bureau

975 Carpenter Rd. NE, Lacey, Washington, 98516, United States