Our safety toolbox can become rusty over time, and even our typical tools consistently used can wear out. In this session we will discuss some "new tools" that may be used by management to ensure success of the safety system. These tools are "borrowed" from proven manufacturing and quality measurement systems and applied to engage and measure our safety progress. Through utilization of case study and actual examples, participants will gain a fundamental knowledge of the background and use of the tools and their application to safety performance metrics. Using similar tools as those found in management and quality management systems enhances the probability of truly integrating safety into all that is done in any business environment.


As the Ambassador of Fun for Southwest Airlines, Tony Brigmon was charged with bringing change elements to all segments within the airline. He took ideas that worked and communicated them to all for incorporation throughout the business. As he traveled and visited with business units and employees, the message came through loud and clear. Those who were still doing what they had done for many many years were being outperformed by those who were trying and implementing new innovative ideas. Sound familiar in your business?

Let's take a look at our business. What have we been using to measure our success?

  • Total Recordable Cases

  • Lost Time Cases

  • Number of Days Lost

  • Dollars Spent on Compensable Injuries and Illness

  • Root Cause Analysis

What is common about all these metrics? Each one is a measure of failure and is after the fact. Is it any wonder why management looks at us with an amused expression when we present our "numbers" at the end of each month? Who can manage or wants to hear news that is always negative, based on luck or chance and is 30 to 60 days behind the times? Put yourself in their shoes. As the manager responsible for production of "whatchamacallits," could you manage effectively with outdated numbers, which only looked at scrap rates and failures? Probably not. As Dr. Dan Petersen states, "It's ridiculous to measure something you didn't expect to happen. You don't plan for accidents to happen, so why measure something you didn't expect or plan for." Sort of makes sense doesn't it. Yet when asked why we still do it that way, the general answer still is "Well that's the way we always done it!" "IF YOU DO WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS DONE, YOU'LL GET WHAT YOU'VE ALWAYS GOT!"

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