December 03 2017
By: Terry L. Mathis
When an accident happens, what do your organizational leaders do? Do they fix the problem, or fix the blame? When leaders don't realize the influence of rules, procedures and systems in place, they tend to assume that anyone who got injured ignored the controls or violated the rules. Even if there was a violation, why did it happen? Are there influences in the workplace that reinforce violations? Is compliance even possible in the realities of the workplace?
Simply blaming injured workers for accidents not only displays a naivety about accident causation, but also indicates a lack of leadership. True leaders use failures such as accidents to further improve their systems and processes. They view failures as systems failures, not just individual failures. They take their share of responsibility and focus on continuous improvement. Blame becomes a shared reality and is not viewed as a solution.
Terry Mathis, Founder and 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.