Think about this. Is it possible, or maybe even probable, for someone in your organization to make an unsafe choice today? How you answer this question absolutely influences how much energy will be generated to reduce the risk of injury within your company. What would you do; what would you look for; and what might you say to your team if someone came into your office today and told you that in the next hour an employee was going to get hurt?
You would walk around your workplace with a different set of eyes and with a heightened amount of energy looking for risks. You would probably give employees more reminders or thank more people for making good choices. This is what we do when we think an injury or accident is probable. Our energy level is high and our radar is turned on full blast. Now imagine that someone is going to come into your office and tell you that it was simply possible that someone could get hurt today. Would your energy level be the same? Probably not! Because we all know that every day it's possible that someone could get hurt, and it's not until possible switches to probable that we really bump it up a notch.
This is why complacency in a safety program is dangerous. Immediately following a workplace injury, everyone is on high alert because they are thinking about the probability of an injury occurring. If the company goes weeks or months injury-free things slide from a probability to a possibility, and energy and focus on injury prevention tend to go down. Simply shifting our thought process from possible to probable changes the level of energy we are willing to commit. The actions that we take when we consider accidents and injuries a probability reduce the risk of them ever becoming a possibility. Check out the video, "Will someone get hurt today?" INTRODUCING CHANGE IN THE WORKPLACE, on the HOME page.
(Article Adapted from "Introducing Change in the Workplace" by Michael Melnik)