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Commit to Zero


Ask the workers in any workforce if any want an injury to occur to themselves or their co-workers and the answer is always an unfailing “NO!” With this fact it seems those who set goals for injuries above zero are trying to deny the workers that which they really want: no injury please!


Given the fact that workers want no injury, it is hard to believe that those leaders knowing this truth, nonetheless, insist on setting goals for some number of injuries more than the workers in fact really want.


Talk about poor logic. This one wins the “illogical prize.”


It seems intuitive that such a position advocating failure is demoralizing to the workforce. Such a position also allows uninformed line leaders to sacrifice doing it the “safest way” in favor of the “seemingly” less costly “safe enough” way. 


Commitment versus Goal

When your safety initiatives are founded on the word “commitment” and an injury occurs there is no broken “goal;” your commitment to zero is no less intense. The action when an injury “rarely” occurs is to strengthen the safety communications and training asking for all, leaders and workers, to avoid engaging in “at-risk” behavior.


A commitment to a zero injury outcome removes all the deliberation by leaders and workers alike on “how safe is safe enough!” The answer is clear, do not proceed into danger; plan around the danger and thus remove it or re-engineer the build process to eliminate the exposure. The key to this occurring lies in the word “commitment to zero at-risk behavior.” In a zero injury culture, a line leader is not wanting an injury to occur on his/her shift, thus takes all caution to prevent exposure, including not executing until a safe means is planned. 


The zero injury concept results teaches “set no goals for injuries!”  Such injury goal setting implies to the workers that you expect some number of injuries and they invariably deduce that it is OK for that number of their peers to be injured. 

The true practitioners “commit to zero injury;” it is not a “goal.”


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