Improving Safety

Y is a function of x – Y=f(x)

Improving Safety requires focus and to get real results we must direct our resources towards the elements which will impact our performance the most. Y represents the output/performance we want to achieve for a specific measure and the x (x’s) represent the inputs which affect this specific output. Thus the Y (the output) is the function of all the inputs (x1, x2, x3, x4, x5,………..x30, xn) which impacts this output. In improvement programs we often refer to Y=f(x), and this, if applied correctly with structure and without bias, allows us to deliver sustainable improvements.

So how do we apply this in Safety?

Improving SafetySimple, we use the same techniques as in any improvement program. Approach safety with the same project management diligence as any capital project for which you want a return on investment.

Typically in Safety we have difficulty in defining the Y. Is it a lagging indicator such as “Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate” or leading indicator such as “At-Risk Behaviour”. It really does not make a difference, as long as:

  • The aim is to prevent Harm
  • Your data is reliable and an accurate representation of the current reality
  • You can identify the improvement expected, and
  • The impact the inputs have can be defined

Let’s use an easy example:

We want to reduce injuries, why? Because of the traumatic impact it has on the person involved, their mates and family. It also has an impact on the business costs, reputation and the ability of leaders to lead the business and operate at the right level in the organisation.

Do we reduce injuries (pro-active) or reduce the impact of injuries on the business (reactive)?

We have to identify the key drivers/causes to reduce injuries and understand how reliable this data/information is. The questions you need to ask include:

  • Do we collect the right information to identify the causes; is our organisation suffering from “Data collection fatigue”?
  • How effective and reliable is our hazard reporting system?
  • What is our reporting culture? Are we prepared to speak-up?
  • Are we pulling the right triggers to facilitate sustainable improvement?

For the effective identification of the right projects that through implementation will maximise value contact us:

Tel: 08 6311 7043