Author Archives: Jim Loud

Serious Incidents and Fatalities (SIFs)

Our Stubborn Problem with Serious Incidents and Fatalities – Part I

In 2011, Terry Norris, then president of the American Society of Safety Professionals, commented on the failure of American companies to reduce the rate of serious incidents and fatalities (SIFs).  “A statistical plateau of worker fatalities is not an achievement, … Read More

Systems vs Symptoms

Systems vs. Symptoms: We Need to Take a Deeper Look

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just published its fatality statistics for 2019 and the results should concern us all.  Fatalities in 2019 jumped to 5333, the highest figure since 2007 and the fifth time in the last six years that … Read More

Injury Numbers

Don’t Get Blinded by Your Injury Numbers

“What we are measuring is not safety but unsafety” Craig Marriott in Challenging the Safety Quo. “Many companies…continue to measure their systemic safety by the lost time frequency rate…Unfortunately this reflection of personal injury rates provides little or no indication … Read More

Safety Management System

Plan Do Check Act NOT Plan Do Hope Pray – Building an Effective Safety Management System

Most safety management systems (SMS) are based on the Deming/Shewhart Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle.  We discussed PDCA in a previous article, but today’s article will take a closer look at the check step.  Why single out the check step?  Well, there … Read More

Safety Management System (SMS)

Safety Management System (SMS) vs. Program

In my over 30 years of assessing safety efforts, I have seen just about every good, bad, and ugly safety “program” you could imagine.  Many are merely versions of command and control where the workers are given the rules and … Read More

Management Observations

Management Observations: Challenges and Pitfalls

In previous articles we have addressed the importance of real-time management observations. Such observations help responsible managers understand actual job performance – rather than hoped for performance.  We have also described what these management observations should look like and offered … Read More

Management Observations

Getting the Most from Your Management Observations

In previous articles we have discussed what management observations should look like and why they are so important to safety.  This article will look more deeply at “how” these observations maximize their effectiveness. There are several steps an organization should … Read More

Management Observations

Look, Listen and Learn: The Path to Effective Management Observations

For some, the term “observation,” as typically used in safety, has a negative connotation.  It is often associated with checklists and a search for “bad behaviors” in need of correction.  Clumsily conducted worker-focused observations/inspections can easily appear patronizing and leave … Read More

Management Observations

How’s It Really Going: The Importance of Management Observations

How often after a significant incident does your management act surprised?  “We had no idea,” or “We have a really low TRIR rate; how could this have happened to us?”  Well, of course, surprises do happen.  But far too often … Read More

Corrective Actions

Are Your Corrective Actions Really Fixing Your Problems?

Many highly successful companies are actively looking for trouble and are pleased when they find it.  These companies know that you can’t improve if you don’t know what to improve.  They establish various work feedback loops, encourage their managers to … Read More