2007

Special Report for Indicator Tips & Advice - Health & Safety

Available to purchase here

The aim of health and safety is to prevent staff being harmed by business activities.  Whilst the health element can be concerned with normal working activities, the safety element is primarily aimed at preventing events that cause harm in the shorter term.  We usually call these events accidents.

The best way of achieve safety is to prevent accidents.  To do this we need to understand their causes and what can be done to avoid them.  Also, by understanding how harm is caused by events, we can prevent incidents (with no consequence) becoming accidents (causing harm).

Companies can learn a lot by investigating and analysing their own accidents.  This can be a time consuming and complex activity, but with many rewards.  However, companies have so few really significant accidents that the actual amount of information they have at any time that can help them avoid accidents is fairly limited.

However, there is a wealth of readily available information regarding the causes accidents.  It’s contained in reports of major accidents.  These are the events that typically result in multiple fatalities and major injuries, harm to the environment and/or significant disruption to business.  The question is, how useful is the learning from these events for more “normal” business?