Looking for the Next Safety Program

December 13 2015
By: Terry L. Mathis

Kids at Christmas aren't the only ones anxiously waiting for gifts. Many leaders and safety professionals are equally anxious to find and try the next safety program. After all the claims that previous programs were the magic formulas and silver bullets, one would expect a higher level of skepticism. But no, the search for a magic answer is still alluring.

The truth is, if you think another program will fix your safety problems, you likely don't have a real strategy to address your safety issues. Without a strategy, decisions are made from a fear of losing the war against accidents. Trying to fail less is the goal because winning seems out of reach. Programs postponed losing in the past, so new ones might do the same in the future. Besides, if your results are unacceptable, you obviously need to do more.

We seldom find organizations that need to do more in safety. Most are expending plenty of effort and resources. The needed focus is almost always "better" rather than simply "more." But historically, strategic thinking has been aimed outward at the marketplace and competitors. It is time to aim strategy at internal issues like safety and do the same level of visioning and aligning efforts that we use against competitors to compete with workplace risks. Our clients taking this approach have had excellent results.

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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