The frequency of accidents is a predictor of severity of accidents.
Here’s how it works:
If you have a bunch of little things occurring, it is an indication we aren’t locking down the fundamentals of safety.
When we are lax on personal protective equipment, small things happen.
When we are sloppy on housekeeping, there are more trips and falls.
When we take shortcuts, small things happen.
When we ignore lockout/tagout, we heighten risks.
If we are lax, we quit wearing seatbelts. We try to grab wood when it holds up the machine.
Then, all of a sudden, something major happens. We investigate it. And, what we discover is this:
The major accident occurred because a dozen small things that no one thought would matter combined to cause something major.
The major accident sobers us. Maybe it horrifies us. It scares us straight. We get back to doing all the fundamentals. And, we avoid frequent accidents and eliminate severe ones. For a while. Until we get complacent.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.