June 15 2020
By: Terry L. Mathis
In my recorded address to ASSP, I talked about the difference between standard safety efforts and safety excellence. For leaders to pursue safety excellence, they must change their mindset from focusing only on continuous improvement to looking for innovations. Traditional safety efforts, when effective, take an organization from bad to good in safety. Getting from good to great takes more than minor improvements. It requires a thorough analysis of the opportunities to move safety in the right direction and then a concentrated effort to make that move a step at a time.
The proverbial elephant has to be eaten a bite at a time. No organization gets excellent at everything all at once. But excellent safety performers become excellent at one thing, then move on to another, and another. As they perfect one aspect of safety, they learn new approaches that may apply to later efforts. Their bag of tricks grows as their injuries diminish. Leaders who simply want to try harder and do a little better each year seldom reach their highest potential level of excellence.
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.