Operational Definitions

November 05 2017
By: Terry L. Mathis

Operational Definitions

In the physical sciences, as well as the social and medical sciences, operational definitions have proven to be essential. An operational definition is a description that enables others to duplicate an operation exactly. Safety excellence is the ability of everyone in the organization to achieve and repeat excellent results. Yet, most organizations have not operationally defined such basic terms as safety, accident, or excellence in understandable and sticky language.

After defining these terms, organizations should make them a part of the safety culture and quickly progress to where every worker can understand and repeat them. This not only clarifies the strategy of safety but also aligns efforts toward common goals. The most excellent organizations for whom we have consulted begin with such definitions and move on quickly and efficiently toward the other elements of safety excellence.






Terry L. Mathis

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.