Building a More Resilient Business

Did you know…

…that if you work for a company that has Zero Harm as a goal, you are statistically more likely to die on the job than someone who works for a company without this type of goal?

Sounds wrong? Sounds counter intuitive?

It is counter intuitive, but correct.

(see The Facts)


Traditional Safety 1.0 / Zero Harm

Safety 2.0 builds a more resilient business. Safety 2.0 kicks in when traditional safety systems fail.

Safety did improve since the industrial world started introducing safety measures in a more structured way during the last century. This is Safety 1.0.

On paper, when done properly, Safety 1.0 prevents all foreseeable incidents. But that’s just it, on paper and foreseeable. The vast majority of the time, what’s on paper doesn’t match what actually occurs operationally. The system fails as soon as the operations don’t match the paper process. Or the system fails when we miss (or couldn’t imagine) the potential of a rare event occurring during our planning process.

Safety 1.0’s success has plateaued. People are still getting severely injured and people are still dying on the job at levels which are not acceptable in a modern society.

‘Zero Harm’ Movement

Zero Harm has become a trendy goal. The goal of Zero Harm is admirable, but the consequences of a Zero Harm goals do more harm than good. Incidents get wrongly classified, incidents don’t get reported, real lessons can’t be learned.

The very old traditional safety pyramid that still drives traditional safety concepts suggests there is a correlation between minor to medium injuries/incidents and major incidents/fatalities. The more minor to medium incidents you ‘have’, the more major incidents you ‘have’.

We tend to have many rules in place to prevent minor to medium incidents, and even major incidents, but it doesn’t help build an organisation that is resilient to major incidents.

These ideas are wrong and has always been wrong. They lead us to give too much focus to the wrong areas of safety and gives us a false understanding of what a safe company looks like. In fact1, the more minor to medium incidents you ‘record’, statistically you’re less likely to ‘have’ a fatality.

Understanding the limitations of traditional Safety 1.0 safety concepts which now includes Zero Harm goals leads you to want something more. That something more, in our view, should be the concepts Safety 2.0 and Safety Differently.

Safety 2.0 / Safety Differently

Safety 2.0 / Safety Differently isn’t about just about having a culture that encourages recording more incidents, it’s a cultural paradigm shift that requires boldness and commitment.

Safety 2.0 / Safety Differently is about making the people the solution, not just keeping the people safe.

It’s not about throwing out Safety 1.0, it’s about adding more resilience to Safety 1.0.

Global Risk Management can help you explore whether a Safety 2.0 / Safety Differently concept can help you take safety to the next level.

Safety 2.0 / Safety Differently can help make your company more resilient, more flexible, more sustainable. When implemented well, major incidents decrease, employee moral increases, and long-term company profitability is enhanced. 

Would you like to learn more about how we can introduce a new safety concept into your existing safety approach, to increase your safety in practice, not just on paper?

Then contact us for a no obligation conversation about how Safety 2.0 could help your business be safer.

Why do we use both the terms Safety 2.0 and Safety Differently?

Safety 2.0 and Safety Differently are two subtly different approaches that challenge the traditional Safety 1.0 approach, pioneered by the likes of Professor Erik Hollnagel and Professor Sidney Dekker respectively. We like both approaches, so not to be arrogant and try to come up with a new term that fits both, or pick one over the other, here we use both, out of respect for both.

1The Facts

What the data (those ‘facts’) from other industries did show, however, is that there is a correlation between injuries/incidents on the one hand, and fatalities on the other. But the relationship is inverted. In recent studies, construction, aviation, shipping and other fields of safety-critical work, have all produced data that shows that a larger number of reported incidents correlates strongly with lower fatality and mortality rates (Barnett & Wang, 2000; Saloniemi & Oksanen, 1998; Storkersen, Antonsen, & Kongsvik, 2016). Unsurprisingly, there is even a correlation between committing to a ‘zero accident’ vision on a project and killing more people. In a thoughtful recent study, British colleagues have demonstrated that projects subject to a ‘zero safety’ policy or program actually slightly increase the likelihood of having a serious life-changing accident or fatality (Sheratt & Dainty, 2017)…

The industry has committed to ‘zero’ for so long already and has had sanctionable rules in place for so long (golden rules, life-saving rules, red rules)—both of which of course put downward pressure on honesty and openess…

Source: Professor Sidney Dekker

Let’s build something more resilient together.

“New technology is common, new thinking is rare.”

— Sir Peter Blake