Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fatalities: A Difficult But Critical Topic for EHS Professionals

There are difficult subjects in all aspects of life, and fatalities are certainly one of those subjects. SH&E professionals know only too well the far-reaching effects of any work-related tragedy. Despite that knowledge, many still believe “it can’t happen to me.” But it can, because a workplace fatality is not a random event. The signs of an impending catastrophe may be hidden beneath the radar, but they are there, waiting to be discovered.

So what can SH&E professionals do to proactively identify and control exposures that lead to serious injuries and fatalities? Apply forward-thinking methodologies, such as those that will be discussed during ASSE’s upcoming Fatality and Severe Loss Prevention Symposium.

Over the past few weeks, EHS Works has featured several posts that highlight topics that will be discussed during the symposium. Here’s a quick recap, as well links to each blog post.
Preventing fatalities requires a multidisciplinary approach that takes nothing for granted. As Catherine Tinsley says, “People want to prevent crises before they occur rather than just investigate them post-hoc for what went wrong. Understanding how organizational disasters often are a complex interaction of quite mundane events can help organizational actors, such as safety and health professionals, be on the lookout for early warning signals, which may presage looming catastrophes."

The symposium also presents a great opportunity to support the ASSE Foundation's Family Scholarship Fund. Learn more here.