Researching Safety From Experience

The article below describes OSH research approaches to deal with the fact that if a safety program is working effectively, then nothing happens. How do you measure savings from non-events to justify the costs of an OSH program?

The experts at ACS Engineering & Safety have years of experience investigating failures, fires, and accidents. Almost all of the incidents fall into 3 general categories: prioritization error, inexperience, and/or hidden hazards. There is no boiler plate solution that can be passed to all companies and/or projects. Each is unique when it comes to an active, involved OSH program. So while measures can be developed, such as intervention reporting and involvement in wellness programs, validating the effectiveness of an OSH program requires company/project specific “empirical” measures to be developed.

For example, on a multi-employer worksite, the general contractor could have one validation measure consisting of subcontractor employee or independent contractor site-specific orientation confirmation. Detecting workers missing the confirmation, interventions with confirmed workers, and the absence of problems could all be tracked for effectiveness data.

A Working Research Agenda for OSH