A little thought can make all the difference

Offense or Defense?

I’ve commented several times about the way we measure safety. Many companies measure accumulated hours worked without incident, but injury rates, or failure rates, are the most common benchmark. We look at the number of failures of the system compared to the number of hours worked in the same time period.

This leads to a lot of interesting behavior, and too much emphasis at times on the wrong things.

For instance, when the trend in injuries starts to climb, some people go into defensive mode. They direct more and more people to look at the things that caused recent injury and remind people what to do to avoid those things. If they were playing offense, they would always be looking for the next potential situation to avoid, the next hazard to put to rest forever.

When we play offense well, we “run up the score” on safe hours worked, because we are playing such good offense we can’t be stopped.

Truth is, no one has enough players to play safety defensively. You can protect only so much. You need to engage the players – your employees – in the powerful offensive skills of awareness and action.

It’s great to have an¬†incredible¬†goalie or an ace closer to come in and finish the game. But if the offense doesn’t score, it won’t matter. Win, you must.

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