Blog

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

Safety Observations

Weighted Percent Safe – A New Risk Metric for Safety Observations

In a previous article, Assigning Severity Ratings to Safety Observation Findings, the concept of incorporating severity into standard safety observations for unsafe/at-risk observation findings was suggested. Doing this would allow observers to classify findings according to their potential level of … 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

Percent Safe

Percent Safe is NOT a Risk-based Performance Indicator

Unlocking the secrets of Percent Safe Safety inspections and observations are conducted at almost all workplaces. Unfortunately, many companies collect only unsafe findings, creating an incomplete picture of risk. Companies that do collect safe observations tend to use a standard … 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

Incident Management

Incident Management Best Practices

Incident Management and incident investigations are a core function of a safety management system. In this four-part series, several key concepts have been previously discussed. First, the purpose of incident management should be to learn and improve. Second, avoiding blame … Read More

Chemical Inventory

The Chemical Inventory Challenge

Hazardous chemicals of concern to the government can be found in essentially all workplaces. Buying these materials in more than consumer quantities brings the purchaser under the jurisdiction of a variety of federal, state, and local agencies, who have disparate … 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

Proactive Incident Management

Proactive Incident Management – Do Not Wait for an Injury to Act!

In the previous Incident Management and Incident Investigations articles, we focused on two primary objectives. The first was the purpose – to learn and improve instead of blaming and punishing. The findings from an event can prove to be valuable … 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