I’ve been work for many years helping corporations turn their management and creation of safety into a positive aspect of their business. What can be more positive that we’ve done our work today in a way that was efficient, effective, legal, moral, ethical (add any other positive feature you’d like), safe and healthy for our employees and contractors.
Managing our corporations well doesn’t require us to measure the absence of a negative. Safety is positive and observable and therefore measurable. We don’t have to rely on the absence of injuries and costs to tell us we’re doing a good job. In fact it’s a very poor measurement because it could be just happening by luck and then we’re fooling ourselves into believing we’re operating safely when we aren’t. Obviously there are many real life examples that come to mind where horribly tragic incidents resulting in catastrophic losses (human and financial) have occurred when this unreliable measure of safety (lost time injury and incident data) was giving the corporation a false sense of security that safety was in existence when it wasn’t.
Let’s measure the creation of safe production of our goods and services and not the absence of negative outcomes that can just be the result of luck!