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Is Zero Possible?


 Fact: Change is a necessary element of progress in any field.  One could say that “positive change,” straightens, levels and paves, the highways of progress. 


 Positive safety progress, as measured by BLS/OSHA incidence rates, in reducing injury in the American general industrial work place has been substantial over the past decade.  In 1997 the BLS/OSHA all industry injury recordable rate was at 12.2 per 100 workers per year; in 2012 the rate was 3.7, an improvement of 73.7%.  The root of this improvement has been a willingness to “change” how employee safety is managed on the part of all the many contributors to this progress. 


 It is now well known that there is a battery of injury prevention research based knowledge that if used effectively does in fact predict a zero injury outcome. If not all employers reach zero injury then at least a much lower rate than is currently being achieved using the lagging concept is being reached. 


Here the disbelievers cite the law of probability and say “hog-wash, zero injury is not statistically probable.”  One can agree completely if one takes a “zero forever” perspective.  Sure it is obvious, given the nature of man that to deduce “a zero forever” conclusion founded on pure logic can not happen. 


HOWEVER, if one takes the shorter term view; one where we are trying to work injury free today then it becomes not only probable but because it is happening so often we cannot but conclude such is definitely ”possible.” This zero performance is in fact happening thousands of times each day across America and even the world.  One only needs to search the internet for the two words "zero+injury" to see the thousands of examples of employers seeking zero injury outcomes.


 This simple fact highlights the following;


 “The potential of zero injury for the long term

not being statistically probable,

does not remove the potential of zero injury

for the short term being statistically possible!”


The referenced research was accomplished by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) of Austin, Texas. The CII member companies who paid for the research have made this valuable safety intervention methodology available to the general business community. Since the research is people centered it applies in all business enterprises.


CII member companies using the research have reduced recordable injuries for 1.3 million workers to a 0.37 frequency in 2013.


The Zero Injury Institute specializes in assisting clients in the successful application of this research.  

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