March 24 2019
By: Terry L. Mathis
PM, or preventative maintenance, was developed when we discovered the limitations of running machines to failure. Some things were easy to repair or replace, while others were complex and resulted in a lot of unplanned downtime. We began to formulate how often we could have planned downtime and how many things we could address during these times. The result was more runtime and fewer unplanned emergencies.
Reactive safety is like old maintenance practices: run to failure then try to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. Proactive safety is more like PM. We discover that if we anticipate dangers and plan to address them, we can avoid the damage of unwanted events. We can also get workers thinking one step ahead of accidents and taking the precautions that can prevent them. When a little downtime can be taken for proactive safety, a lot of downtime can be saved by not having to react to accidents and injuries. Proactive safety is not only good for accident reduction, but for increased productivity as well.
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.