Most of us have heard something about the Big 5. What comes to mind when you hear this phrase? Most people have a vision of a safari in Africa where you get an authentic, in- the- wild chance to see Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros and Cape Buffalo. You think of an exciting experience that you will remember forever.
My dear, departed friend and fellow safety professional, Todd Britten, spoke of his Big 5 as:
Todd would go through his list and then challenge his safety culture trainees to list their Big 5 and reflect on how their and their coworker’s lives would change if there was an injury. It was and is a powerful message no matter what your Big 5 are.
There is at least one more Big 5 in the safety world. As I was working in the underground mines of South Africa, one of the companies had a list of Fatal Risk Protocols; the 11 things that could kill you in a hard rock mine. They taught their people the rules of engagement for these fatal few and then expected the miners and management to follow these safety rules without exception. Time and again I have noticed a parallel in industry; it seems each industrial work position has at least five situations that can be very dangerous. These must be defined, analyzed, improved, trained, measured with respect to personal accountability and then given feedback to workplace employees and supervision.
This is an effective and useful team resolution exercise; what is each group’s Big 5 and what are they doing about them to live a zero incident workplace and lifestyle?