Monthly Archives: August 2016


Near-Misses: An Assessment Tool in Construction

I know what many of you think when one of these happens. "Phew! Thank goodness for that near-miss. Let's just be a little more careful. Would hate to have to fill out incident paperwork!" {Photo courtesy of Flickr user Drew's Photo Shoots via a Creative Commons license] The Missing Piece? OK, so maybe that last [...]

2017-05-09T10:20:54+00:00August 30th, 2016|Safety Matters|

Vital Incident Questions: The 5 Whys

I know, I know. I have been conducting this latest series of posts about the two most difficult questions to get honest answers for in regards to an incident investigation, and rather than embracing the difficulty of the questions, I present ou with one of the difficult questions five times over? Am I sadistic? Well, [...]

2017-05-09T10:20:55+00:00August 26th, 2016|Safety Matters|

Vital Incident Questions: Root Causes and Factors

How and why, in a vacuum, are three-letter words. Add a question mark after each, and they could become the most confusing or convulsion-inducing words in the English language. It is often, not just in safety, that "how" and "why" questions can be the most difficult to answer. They usually are the kinds of questions [...]

2017-05-09T10:20:56+00:00August 23rd, 2016|Safety Matters|

Vital Incident Questions: Incident Models

Fred Manuele has a lot of respect for the work of Erik Hollnagel and Sidney Dekker. And why not? These two have been part of the movement in safety to stretch all our thinking when it comes to incident investigations. I have been taking you on a journey through Manuele's article which appeared in the [...]

2017-05-09T10:20:58+00:00August 19th, 2016|Safety Matters|

Vital Incident Questions: About Causation

Have you asked yourself those hard-to-answer, but necessary-to-answer-honestly questions? If you are new to this blog today, then you really should read my archive. Those of you who have been regulars here know that I essentially (without actually specifically mentioning it) gave you homework over the weekend. The goal was to help you understand the [...]

2017-05-09T10:21:00+00:00August 16th, 2016|Safety Matters|

2 Vital Incident Questions

Safety officers are supposed to be preventative, not rehabilitative. Our mission is to keep our workers safe, not to fix something that was already broken. We do our best to implement and execute safety protocols and procedures whenever possible. But yeah, the truth is that incidents do occur. And when that happens, it is our [...]

2017-05-09T10:21:02+00:00August 12th, 2016|Safety Matters|

The Art of Risk Assessment, Part III

In risk assessment, how you determine the risk and locate it can count as much or more than the risk itself. After all, the risk you don't know or can't figure out is usually the one that is most dangerous. And not all risks are obvious; safety officers and safety committees make their money by [...]

2017-05-09T10:21:04+00:00August 9th, 2016|Safety Matters|

The Art of Risk Assessment: Part II

Risk assessment can be an artful science, or a scientific art. Or at least, it should be. I started to establish for you what risk assessment entails in the first post of this series, which is a breakdown of an interesting article by Bruce Lyon and Georgi Popov in the March 2016 issue of Professional Safety magazine. [...]

2017-05-09T10:21:05+00:00August 5th, 2016|Safety Matters|

The Art of Risk Assessment: Part I

We like to think of ourselves as scientists. After all, safety officers love spreadsheets and taking down figures and expressions to represent risks and hazards in a worksite, and to track incidents with empirical values so as to try to figure out what went wrong and how to prevent the same issue from occurring in [...]

2017-05-09T10:21:07+00:00August 2nd, 2016|Safety Matters|