Focus on what really matters

The people who are familiar with safety management are also familiar with Heinrich's Pyramid. We thus learn that the ratio between the different types of accidents in the Pyramid remains the same. That would result in fewer serious and fatal accidents if we work to reduce the number of near-misses as well.


This approach has worked for a long time to actually achieve those results. But there is a "but". By focusing our attention on "trivial issues", the high potential necessary situations do not get the attention they really deserve because there is too much distraction caused by the minor stuff.


We have been brainwashed for years to learn from incidents, near misses and dangerous situations. And we jumped onto it, and as a result, we have indeed reduced the number of unsafe situations and actions. The total number of accidents has been reduced for years, but as I also explained in my book #safetyfromwithin, the number of serious accidents has been increasing again for several years.


Why?

We focus too much on trivial issues instead of on potential severe issues!

There is a vast difference between focusing on reducing the likelihood of a person tripping compared to situations where people die, are permanently injured or get sick.

Safety That Kill You (#STKY) or "sticky" safety is what we should focus on. Safety-related to the risk of death, severe and/or permanent injury or illness. Those are the consequences we really want to avoid. That's where the attention should be.



The above is a quote from my book #safetyfromwithin.


Now I recently read the wonderful work of #CarstenBusch: "Preventing Industrial Accidents - Reappraising H.W. Heinrich - More than Triangles and Dominoes". And from here the quoted statement above also emerges clearly (by a number of safety experts):

The number of workplace accidents has fallen sharply, but the number of serious injuries and fatalities (SIF) is declining at a much slower rate [...]
Incidents with the potential for serious injury and death have various underlying causes and contextual factors leading to them. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on SIF precursors rather than minor incidents such as slips, trips and falls [...].
As a result, our frequency rates have decreased much more than our severity rates [...].
We must distinguish between scenarios that can lead to major accidents and scenarios that can never go beyond minor inconveniences."

A brilliant confirmation.


Let's focus on what we really want: the prevention of fatalities, serious and/or permanent injuries and illness.