Vision Zero, Zero Harm, … WTF?

The launch of a “Vision Zero” campaign about occupational health and safety (OHS) was a major element of the recent World Congress on Safety and Health at Work but it has created confusion and some alarm. The Secretary-General of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) Hans-Horst Konkolewsky told SafetyAtWorkBlog that Vision Zero “is not a Zero …

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Zero Harm evidence is “dubious”

The 21st World Congress on Safety and Health in Singapore has closed.  The next will be in 2020 in Toronto Canada. But before the closing ceremony the range of symposia continued.  One discussed best practice in occupational health and safety (OHS) and I had the chance to speak about the downside of Zero Harm. The …

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Zero Harm is dead, long live ……whatever comes next

Zero Harm was an enormously popular motivational aim for OHS.  It originated as a response in some large organisations where safety performance was plateauing and who felt that they had achieved as much as they could in redesigning work and improving physical safety.  The plateauing led to frustration and a reassessment of safety practices.  The remaining variable …

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Zero Harm persists in confusing companies on safety

Australian lawyer, Andrew Douglas is one of the most passionate safety advocates I have met and he is a dogged critic of the Zero Harm branding present in occupational health and safety thinking. In his latest article at Leading Thought, he discusses Zero Harm and states that: “It is untrue and neither workers or supervisors … Continue reading “Zero Harm persists in confusing companies on safety”

“Do some good” sounds more effective than achieving “zero harm”

The April 2012 edition of the UK magazine Training Journal makes a statement that is so simple, safety professionals should be kicking themselves.  The safety profession is trying to change the measurement of safety from lag indicators to lead, from negatives to positives, from failures to successes and yet we continue to talk about zero harm.  In Training Journal, … Continue reading ““Do some good” sounds more effective than achieving “zero harm””

Zero Harm is a “fallacious deception” – thoughts on the 2012 Safety In Action Conference

Overall the Safety In Action Conference, currently occurring in Melbourne, has been consistent but without any standout moments.  However there have been nuggets of interest from the speakers and insight from some of the participants. Andrew Douglas of M+K Lawyers was blunt in describing some of the actions between State Governments and the Federal Government over the harmonisation of occupational health and safety laws as “extortion” … Continue reading “Zero Harm is a “fallacious deception” – thoughts on the 2012 Safety In Action Conference”

OHS needs to get a seat at the ESG table

There has always been an overlap between environmental safety and occupational health and safety (OHS). This has happened not because of any particular similarity between the two disciplines but rather because of company executives’ duties, responsibilities, and accountabilities. A recent report produced through the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) says this about climate change responses: …

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