To the Inventor of Zero Accidents: Thanks for Nothing!

April 02 2017
By: Terry L. Mathis

Safety is a vacuum. Suck out all the risks and the remaining 'nothing' is safety. If you have no risks, you will have no injuries. If you have no injuries, you must be excellent at safety. Since safety is nothing, you must be excellent at nothing. Must you have to have a degree in nothing to be that good at it?

To the Inventor of Zero Accidents:  Thanks for Nothing!

Yes, I know this is all ridiculous but so is this obsession with ZERO! Strategy is what to do. Tactics are how to do it. Vision is what success looks like. Zero is none of the above. Is it even a result, or is it simply the lack of a result? When you get three or more levels of abstraction away from how to accomplish the desired goal, do you direct or confuse workers? Of course, we don't want to get anyone hurt and we don't want to develop a tolerance for a level of failure. But for goodness sake, let's focus our workforce on how to get there instead of fixating on what "there" doesn't look like.

Terry L. Mathis

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.

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