• Courtney
    3
    How does the belief that "All incidents are preventable" relate to the HOP principle that "People make mistakes"?
    After hearing Anthony Mitchell from Fletcher explain at an NZISM event that they believe all incidents are preventable it sounded good to me, but after some days I thought back to when I was 25yo and dislocated my knee just bending down to pick up a shuttlecock during a badminton tournament. To say everything is preventable feels like hindsight bias.
    Please help me wrap my head around this.
  • KeithH
    171
    Hi @Courtney
    The HOP principle is sound and based on fact.
    The belief by Anthony Mitchell is exactly that - a belief that is not based on fact.

    That people make mistakes is human nature and the reasoning covered by HOP here.
    How to ensure all accidents are preventable can be done by people doing nothing that has any risk attached - ergo wrap them in cotton wool. Anthony Mitchell states his belief here.

    So what's a fact? Something that is can be determined by researching the evidence.
    While a belief may be true, it is a conviction based on cultural or personal faith, morality, or values.
    Source - Colorado State University

    Personally I admire people for their beliefs though when serious injury or fatal risk exists, I prefer to rely on facts.

    My 2 cents worth
  • Casey
    1
    Kia ora Courtney

    I have been asked a number of times by students why should we bother spending so much time on emergency management when we should focus on preventing injuries and incidents. I.e. all injuries are preventable. I can see where they are coming from, but this concept requires a perfect world with perfect people and a perfect understanding of everything. Unfortunately, this just isn't our world.

    I explain to students that there are two types of errors, determinate (systemic) and indeterminate (random). Determinate errors are errors that can be avoided or mitigated through training, process management and awareness. Indeterminate errors occur randomly or accidentally and there is no control over the error. These errors followed the mathematical law of probability. Hence, you cannot achieve zero-harm.

    Thus, we need to focus on both sides, prevention and emergency management.

    In addition, there are so many psychosocial and physical viables at play that we cannot foresee everything that could happen. Hindsight is great for showing us what we missed.

    I agree with Keith, facts over belief.
  • Aaron Marshall
    117

    It sounds to me like he doesn't separate the incident from the outcome.

    The HOP principles have been lifted from aviation practice, so are well tried and tested and based on international best practice. As in another thread, the definition of an incident here may cloud the comparison. I suspect that Southpac are using a definition of "means any occurrence, other than an accident, that is associated with the operation of an aircraft and affects, or could affect, the safety of operation."

    Human errors, mechanical failures, unpredictable weather, all mean that incidents aren't able to be entirely eliminated. So, the system must be designed to allow for these errors and prevent incidents from becoming accidents.
  • Chris Alderson
    30
    Unfortunately there are still high powered safety consultancies promoting outdated, non evidence based and frankly damaging concepts such as zero harm and injury frequency rate reporting.
  • Chris Hyndman
    71
    I attended a Human Factors seminar by a chap named Shane Bush in the mid to late noughties who explained that humans are both fallible and predictable.

    In a nutshell, we can predict the sort of environments, pressures and situations where people are more likely to make mistakes, so we should try and fix those and not the person.
  • Rachael
    112
    Just jumping in with a correction.
    The FCC mantra isn't that "We believe all accidents are preventable"
    It's "We believe all injuries are preventable"

    As mentioned above, two entirely different mantras which lead to entirely different focus points.
    Ironically it's a natural human interpretation to interchange the words incident, accident and injury so a LOT of time is spent explaining what we actually mean by the 'belief'.
  • KeithH
    171
    @Rachael,
    Not sure what the correction was about for the Federal Communications Commission mantra.
    Could you cast a little more light on what the item needing correction please.

    Cheers
  • Rachael
    112

    lol - Fletcher Construction Company (FCC) / Fletcher Building (FB)
    :smile:
  • MattD2
    337
    Ironically it's a natural human interpretation to interchange the words incident, accident and injury so a LOT of time is spent explaining what we actually mean by the 'belief'.Rachael
    This is why simplified "beliefs" / mantras can be more of a hindrance than a help - if you have to spend the majority of your effort explaining what "belief" actually means, rather than how that "belief" actually makes the situation better - then it likely needs to be either; articulated better (and likely no longer simplified) or just abandoned.

    Plus corporate beliefs such as this do not provide any real actionable intent - just because you believe in something doesn't make that so (plenty of examples of this). Plus it doesn't actually ensure that the company takes accountability of their contribution towards an incident - it allows them to continue to pass the buck to others, e.g. the injured worker not following their procedures or more commonly these days the subcontractor.

    "We believe all injuries are preventable"Rachael
    I was 25yo and dislocated my knee just bending down to pick up a shuttlecock during a badminton tournament.Courtney
    Even with the "corrected" belief the premise of the OP's question still exists.

    There is no real need for corporate safety beliefs or mantras like these, as the only one that would really matter is that the company will provide the workers with the resources (equipment, workers, time, knowledge, practice, etc.) to not be put at unreasonable risk when working... but then all they are really doing is restated their duties under HSWA.

    Pessimistically I (and a lot of workers) see these types of statements as a way for a company to look like they are doing something about workplace safety / care about workers' safety, without them having to actually do anything about workplace safety or actually care about workers' safety.
  • Rachael
    112
    Agreed. On all. (I'm no longer working for FCC obviously lol) :lol:
  • Andrew
    387
    I despair when I hear all this "Zero Harm" and "All incidents/Injuries are Preventable" nonsense.

    These are to totally unachievable aims. I don't even count them as "aspirational". its just fluffy wooly headed thinking which we are seeing more and more from companies that are wrapping themselves up in ESG. (Take a look at the Fletcher Building share price from 2007 - 2023 if you want to see where muddle headed thinking gets you.)

    It seems to me we have people who spend their time trying to out-virtue their peers.

    On the off chance I am wrong, then we should also consider the law of diminishing returns. At some point we end up expending a huge amount of resource on preventing that one incident that causes a blister

    "work" is a complex thing. Problem's will always arise. We need to be focusing on the problems that creates the most harm. And solving problems when they are small and don't get so big they get out of control.
  • Darren Cottingham
    58
    We have the same issue in the driver training world around NZTA's 'Road to Zero' policies. People don't get behind unattainable goals.
  • Aaron Marshall
    117
    I'll take it one step further and openly state that in some contexts, injuries are a natural and accepted part of the work.
    I highly doubt that the NZRU have any desire to pursue a zero injuries policy.
    Likewise, any school should be accepting that minor injuries are a natural part of having healthy, active children in the playground.

    Pushing for 'zero harm' has negative consequences where it discourages people from reporting - nobody wants to be the one who breaks the 'winning streak'. I have questioned a school where there were lower than expected incident reports.
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