Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Time for a New Model in Preventing Fatalities & Serious Injuries

U.S. employers continue to experience lower rates of recordable and lost-time injuries, great news to the EHS community. But those gains are tempered by the fact that the fatality rate is level or in some cases increasing. Analysis of this trend has led to a new framework for preventing serious injuries and fatalities. This new framework suggests that the long-cited safety triangle doesn’t have it quite right.

According to the traditional triangle, minor injuries predict serious injuries and if employers control the causes of minor injuries, they will also control serious injuries. What more recent research is suggesting is that while the traditional triangle is accurate descriptively, it’s not accurately predictive. In other words, it describes the quantitative nature of incidents and helps guide prevention strategies, but since not all injuries have SIF potential, efforts to reduce minor injuries do not necessarily also reduce serious injuries.

EHS professionals can learn more about this changing paradigm during ASSE’s upcoming Fatality & Severe Loss Prevention Symposium. Tom Krause, who has been involved in some of the recent SIF research, will be one of the presenters. Watch ASSE's video to hear why he believes this is an important topic for EHS professionals to tackle.


You might also be interested in viewing this video in which Dr. Krause reviews the research behind the new paradigm and some of the new thinking about preventing SIFs.