If I can operate safely once, then why not twice, thrice….every time?
In the past, the prevailing view on safety accidents was that not all accidents were preventable. However, the Zero Incident philosophy is based on the belief that eliminating all accidents is possible. The goal of all safety efforts is to increase safety performance and achieve “safety excellence.” The difference between Zero Incident and other efforts lies in the former’s claim that all accidents are preventable.
If safety goals were not set as Zero incident, employers, as leaders, send the message that some accidents/incidents are acceptable. As reported in recent research on safety culture, the leader’s attitude and values have a significant impact on the whole company. Without Zero Injury, employees at all levels could have the wrong safety values and attitudes, which result in unsafe behaviors. What’s more, the company safety culture would be influenced, and, as a result, more accidents would occur.
All employers should have an absolute belief that it is possible to eliminate accidents. Zero Incident is not only a goal, but also a thought process that begins with the premise that if an employee can work one day without an incident, that employee can work each and every additional day incident free. The fact that an incident occurs does not mean it is acceptable to the organization. Because Zero Incident is possible, accident prevention is no longer just a business proposition, but a moral obligation. If you can keep people from being injured, you have a moral obligation to do so.
Factors involved in development of ZIV
Factors Involved in Developing ZIV & Zero Incident Safety Management is an approach that considers all of the factors that might influence safety, such as leadership, workers’ behavior, and companies’ cultures. According to the new theory of accident causes and prevention, Zero Incident Safety Management should be contributed to eliminate the five causes.
1. Environment and heredity. To solve this problem, all leaders and employees have to understand the Zero Incident concept. Only people who understand and accept the concept deeply can change their safety values, and therefore their behavior. In addition, safety culture and safety training can also have an impact on this cause.
2. Management. Management depends on leadership. Employers’ willingness to invest resources, time, and money in safety plays a significant role in safety management. Safety actions and the implementation of safety programs are also effected by management.
3. Personal factors. This is similar to environment and heredity. Safety culture, understanding of safety, safety actions, and the implementation of safety programs can change personal undesired characteristics and other problems.
4. Job factors. Uncorrected hazards, even an act of God, can be managed and prevented by proactive and strong leadership. The willingness to invest in effective safety actions and the implementation of safety programs can also help eliminate undesired job factors.
5. Unsafe acts and unsafe conditions. Unsafe errors and technical failures are the easiest causation factor to remedy. Strong leadership, proactive safety culture, specific safety actions, and implementation of effective safety program can solve this factor.
Yin Wang, Fletcher Griffis. The Theory of Zero Incident Safety Management. Journal of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2018, pp. 83-98. doi: 10.11648/j.jccee.20180303.15
The first example of a zero vision was the ‘zero defects’ approach, developed in the mid-1960s by Halpin in the Martin Marietta Corporation (now part of Lockheed Martin) as part of the Titan Missile program (Halpin, 1966). Halpin emphasized that a change in corporate culture is essential for a zero defects program.
He criticized the ‘double standard’ that almost every consumer expects products without defects when they buy them, while the same persons as an employee may see it as ‘normal’ that they make some ‘human errors’ in their work, implying that they accept defects in the products they make. Halpin also emphasized the importance ‘that workers can be proud of their work’ and see their with defects, you cannot be proud of your job. Therefore, ‘zero defects’ contributes to the well-being of the worker (Halpin, 1966).
The zero defects movement was further inspired and strengthened by Crosby’s book ‘Quality is Free’ (Crosby, 1979). In an era where delivering high quality was regarded as a cost factor, Crosby demonstrated that the hidden costs of low quality were actually much higher than those for generating better quality: products with defects often require rework before they can be sold. Defect products also generate dissatisfied and disloyal customers, implying extra costs for marketing and sales. In this way, Crosby clarified that there is a clear business case for zero defect strategy.
Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries has stated that ‘zero work accidents’ is the goal in Finnish construction sites by 2020. This is very likely to impact safety attitudes at Finnish construction firms. CSR and changes in ethical codes may also have an effect on the safety policy of a company. Similar effects can be attained through e.g. participating in safety competitions or implementing new requirements in quality and productivity management systems.
The case for research into the zero accident vision Gerard I.J.M. Zwetsloot a, Markku Aaltonen b,⇑, Jean-Luc Wyboc, Jorma Saari b, Pete Kines d, Rik Op De Beeck e
To act safely the first step is to believe that zero accident vision is possible. This is achievable in a generative safety environment where every person believes that safety is their responsibility and they do eery thing possible in their capability to achieve the goal.
Safety culture always come from top down. The commitment of the top management not just in words but in action sends a strong signal throughout the company that safety is taken seriously and that accidents are unacceptable.
The management must also understand that the employee is a social animal and the effect of the society that they live in has a significant role to play in their behaviour at work place. Therefore a strong corporate culture is the need of the hour which is in line with the corporate philosophy.
Zero accident vision is achievable and has been successfully demonstrated in various industries around the globe.