Monday, March 22, 2010


From time to time I work with military organizations. They too are trying to improve their safety cultures and reduce the many unfortunate injuries and deaths that are all too common with the dangerous profession they are tasked to execute. Of necessity and principle the military community takes the life and death realities of their combat cultures extremely seriously. Their planning, training and practice is excellent, well thought out and well executed.

But what about the off the job military culture? Universally most of the injuries and deaths occur off duty for all branches of the services. I have been frustrated time and again as the press of their “mission is all important” focus overwhelms any discussions and meaningful actions on what is the most serious threat to their battle field (mission) viability.

And most industrial organizations do the same thing when it comes to an off the job safety culture. There are numerous statistics to the reality that go something like:

  • More than 10 times the number of fatalities occur in vehicular (traffic) related events than occur on the job
  • More than 12 times the number of fatalities occur from non vehicular off the job activities than occur on the job
  • Serious medical injuries occur at a rate of more than 50 times that of fatalities
And yet how many organizations have a serious off the job safety program? Not many, because, just like the military, we focus on our mission safety culture. And just like the military, when we loose one of our members to an off the job injury it significantly affects our ability to perform the mission that supports our livelihoods.

What is your plan for eliminating off the job injuries? If it is not as well thought out, trained and executed as your prime mission safety culture you are setting a trap that can be extremely painful for your employees and your organization. Is it time for you and your organization to develop and live a zero incident off the job safety culture?

The Doc

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