This can be attributed to my TOP 4 PITFALLS:
- The erroneous relationship between first aid case numbers and more serious events that was described by Heinrich’s Triangle, and which has now been found to be wrong. Quoting from Darryl C. Hill: “One issue with serious injury and fatality prevention (SIF) prevention is the longtime view that if first aid and recordable incidents are reduced, serious ones would decline as well. This view is a result with the Henrich pyramid that outlines that a consistent decline in total injuries will be accompanied by a decline in SIFs. The belief that OSH related incident rates are a good measurement barometer for serious injury and fatality potential must be discarded. This assertion assumes that most incidents share similar root causes and that less severe injuries will also prevent serious injuries and fatalities.”
- The historic focus on unsafe acts and unsafe conditions as the causes of incidents with the belief that about 96% of accidents are because of human failures and the rest are ‘Acts of God’. Are the workers with their first aid cases the precursors to catastrophe?
- The mythology that has grown out of the safety leadership development industry that advocates the importance of being seen to show care and concern.
The obsession with statistics and more statistics.
- What was the worst thing that could have happened? Realistically? Without extrapolating that a scratch can lead to infection which can lead to septicemia and death ie “Risk Exaggeration”.
- Was the work that resulted in the first aid case unsafe?
- If the work was not unsafe ie the risk was as low as reasonably practicable, is there need for further investigation of mitigations and at what cost in terms of time and investment compared to the marginal loss caused by the first aid case?
More broadly what are the REAL COSTS OF FIRST AID CASES? For instance, if I was a Construction Manager, and there was a queue of workers at the first aid hut receiving bandaid treatments, I’d be asking if this is really a safety issue or a PRODUCTIVITY ISSUE. This would be my calculation:
= Impact on schedule
So far, I’ve raised a problem. The 10 solutions are:
- Be realistic about safe vs unsafe and avoid the top 4 pitfalls.
- Ask the top 4 questions.
- Talk to the workers about the productivity implications of first aid cases rather than enshrining these incidents in ‘Safety’. A tradesperson’s most important tools are their hands. Hand injuries cause 1. Pain 2. Time away from the job for treatment 3. Difficulty in doing a quality job and 4. Difficulty in maintaining productivity.
- Make the provision of first aid easier at the coal-face rather than mandating a visit to the site nurse. Trust your supervisors and workers to agree on treatment.
- Make the reporting process simple and unbureaucratic.
- Focus time and resources on preventing fatalities, serious injuries and debilitating illnesses.
- Build the safety culture on effective risk management at all levels of the business.
- Avoid RISK EXAGGERATION to the most unlikely consequences.
- Demonstrate visible leadership through genuine concern about serious life-changing events.
- DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.
For more information about ALIGN Risk Management’s ½ Day Effective Risk Management Program and 1-2 Day Leadership Programs, contact Tania at email@example.com
About Tania and ALIGN Risk Management
In late 2016, her company was rebadged to ALIGN Risk Management specialising in HSE Consulting and Risk Leadership Programs for managers, supervisors, HSE professionals and workers. Her chapter on ‘Risk Leadership – A Multi-Disciplinary Approach’ has been accepted by the American Society of Safety Professionals and will be published in Safety Leadership and Professional Development ahead of the ASSP’s 2018 Safety Conference.
afety Leadership and Professional Development. American Society of Safety Professionals. USA.
ALIGN Risk Management specializes in Productive Safety Management, and believe HSEQ systems can be efficient, cost-effective and ensure continuity of production.