I have been working with an excellent surface mining organization that has a very low injury rate. They have a Recordable Injury Frequency (RIF) of less than 0.3. They were working on leading indicators, but still struggled with a long history and the traditional draw of injury rates. In our discussions, they related an interesting and humorous story of how their group finally put an end to setting injury goals.
As the hourly and salaried team discussed the next year’s safety goals, their low RIF allowed for only two recordable injuries. At that moment of truth, a mechanic team member excused himself and momentarily returned with a sledge hammer. He looked around, focused on the safety manager and said “Let’s get this out of the way right now!”
The team looked shocked and then started laughing. In short order, they agreed that injury rate goals were just plain ridiculous. A sledge hammer mechanic became the catalyst that got them seriously on the road toward worthwhile leading indicator/safety accountability goals. This is a reality of what will make a worthwhile difference in achieving excellent safety performance.
Is it time for you get out the sledge hammer reality and become serious about what value added goals and activities it takes to improve your organization’s safety performance?