In William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well he mentions that many writers suffer from “the tyranny of the final product.” They are so concerned with selling their article or book, they neglect learning the process of how to think, plan and organize. Their work is jumbled when “the writer, his eye on the finish line, never gave enough thought to how to run the race.” There seems to be a concern only with the fruit and thus ignoring the root out of which the fruit springs.
In my experience, there is a definite parallel in safety initiatives which react to the latest event. In doing so, we do not put in the time and effort necessary to develop, train, measure and give feedback to the well thought out accountabilities which when practiced eliminate the possibility of injury. This detailed plan is what helps deliver the fruit of a practical error proofing approach to fundamental and advanced safety processes. The careful attention to the important roots of our safety tree must come from our people who have to live with our safety processes. Their careful, well thought out detail to what really happens in the field assists our people to live a zero incident safety culture.
Each of these well thought and well executed safety processes include the necessity for all our people, on and off the job to stop, think and act. If you see it, you own it. We must do it safe all the time. And this requires careful well thought out processes with practical accountabilities which help eliminate the possibility of incident or injury. These processes with appropriate safety accountabilities then form the path of root to fruit in a safety culture of correct. From this well thought out plan comes a safety culture that can go beyond reacting to the next inexcusable injury.