Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Harm’s Way

When it comes to getting hurt, there are only three ways that can happen: from something you do; from something someone else does to you; by an Act of God. While all three can – and have – happened, our experience tells us the most likely way to go home hurt is from a self-inflicted wound.

But doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing – working safely – is no guarantee of your safety. There are plenty of examples to prove that point, none better than the most recent passenger train derailment.

The experts have been dispatched to the scene to figure out what went wrong. Something sure did; eventually an investigation report will be issued. But one thing’s for sure: there were a lot of people harmed who weren’t doing a single thing wrong. They just happened to be in harm’s way: sitting in passenger seat of a rail car – or in the driver’s seat of a vehicle on the highway below.

Unless they saw this coming, they were simply a victim – of what someone else did.

That simple truth makes an important point: Safety’s not simply a matter of what you do. Safety is also a matter of what you might do to someone else.

Someone else who wants to go home, alive and well at the end of the day. And is counting on you to make sure that happens.

Paul Balmert
December 2017

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