November 03 2019
By: Terry L. Mathis
The function of fall protection is to prevent falls, right? No! If that is its function, it fails miserably. Fall protection does not prevent; it lessens potential severity. You still can fall, but you won't fall as far or land as hard.
We need to extend this approach into all areas with SIF potential. Sure, we need to prevent where possible, but we need to control severity when we fail to prevent. The catch phrase, "all accidents are preventable," is still theoretical precisely because we DON'T prevent them all. Working on prevention should not suffer nor slow as we focus on controlling severity, but the number of people severely injured or killed by our failures should diminish significantly. If we continue to fail occasionally, let's make sure we don't kill people with our failures.
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.