Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Assumptions

We make assumptions all the time. When it comes to safety, we routinely rely on those assumptions to keep ourselves safe. In the vast majority of cases, no harm comes from doing that.

But not all the time.

When things don’t turn out well, it’s often a case where the assumptions that were relied on proved wrong. For example, there aren’t very many of us behind the wheel of a car unaware that texting while driving can turn out badly. That doesn’t stop some of us from texting while driving.

As to why they do that, the likely explanation is they assume, “that will never happen to me.”

In most cases, it doesn’t. But not all cases.

Here’s another example where assumptions likely played a role in a workplace tragedy.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/09/18/hooper-sewer-director

As to assumptions that were later proved wrong, here are three potential candidates that could explain what went wrong.

  • “Routine work” isn’t hazardous.
  • Managers don’t need to worry about their safety.
  • Emergency situations can be predicted in advance.

Paul Balmert
October 2018

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