What Not to Do

January 12 2020
By: Terry L. Mathis

Educators and trainers are beginning to agree that good practice includes using both positive and negative examples of performance. This means good safety training should give workers examples of safe and unsafe performance. However, all too often, safety training is a list of risks not to take and mistakes not to make. Effective training must also provide an example or a model of the desired performance.

What Not to Do We tend to think of safety as "not taking risks" rather than "taking precautions" and that thinking assumes good simply equals less bad. Just as you would not tell an elementary student three ways to misspell a word without also showing the correct spelling, you should not train workers simply to avoid risks but rather to perform work safely. Some training programs already do this. Too many don't!

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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