De-mystifying Safety

May 20 2015
By: Terry L. Mathis

It is amazing how many workers view safety as a form of Voodoo. They know they can do a job hundreds of times accident-free, then suddenly get injured. What is the difference, and how can you prevent such random events?

To begin de-mystifying safety, you must first define it. Safety has three parts: 1. Identifying and recognizing risks, 2. Addressing risks through conditional changes or behavioral precautions, and 3. Developing consistency in risk control. In short, workers have to know what can hurt them, know how to keep these things from hurting them, and consistently do those things.

Internalizing such a definition tends to take the mysticism out of safety. Each time an accident happens, workers analyze which of the three steps didn't happen, and understand the causation of accidents. There is no Voodoo, only cause-and-effect.

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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