February 16 2020
By: Terry L. Mathis
Most organizations I consult with have adopted "Life-Saving Rules" whether by that name or another. The idea is to address SIFs (Serious Incidents and Fatalities). The problem with most of these is they focus on perceived danger and high potential energy rather than the most likely type of event to cause serious harm.
Recent research indicates that it is not the most dangerous jobs that are causing all SIFs. Certainly, some are caused by these types of dangers. But many of the most dangerous jobs are done daily with adequate safeguards to prevent accidents. The things most often missed are the tasks that are not necessarily the most dangerous but the ones most difficult to control. Sometimes the number of variables is more important than the potential energy involved. Re-visit your Life-Saving Rules and make sure they are really aimed at the things most likely to take a life!
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.