Consider this: you walk out to your car and you see that one of your tires is flat. You immediately think that the flat tire is the problem. That is incorrect. The fact that your tire is flat is NOT the problem. The fact that your tire is flat is the condition. The problem is that you no longer have enough air in the tire which has caused it to go flat.
Let’s restate this by saying: “A flat tire is the condition and not enough air in the tire is the problem.”
How does this reasoning explain how injuries are like a flat tire? The fact that workers are being injured is NOT the problem. The fact that workers are experiencing injuries is the condition. There are many possible problems that allow for the condition (injuries) to occur. Here is a very short list of possible problems:
- Lack of hazard recognition.
- Complacency with work.
- Inadequate safety training.
- Poor ergonomics.
- Loose clothing or jewelry.
- Manual lifting of heavy loads.
- Low management support.
- Taking short cuts.
- Using wrong tools for the job.
- Lack of proper PPE.
- No SPA (Safe Plan of Action).
Employee injuries is the condition. Inadequate safety programs to prevent those injuries is the problem.
Don’t let your safety programs go flat!