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Targeting Zero: A Deeper Dive on the Zero Paradox

Posted by Beth Lay, Director of Safety and Human Performance on Jul 14, 2021 12:11:01 PM

If you read our article entitled The Zero Paradox in the UAA Newsline or right here on our blog, you'll know we believe that zero-tolerance goals (like our old adage “we believe that there is no reason why anyone should ever get injured on the job”) are unachievable and demotivating. 

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If you're interested in learning more, we recently discovered a thorough, beautifully written piece by Michael Burnham, Safety Manager, Avangrid. Originally published in the April 2015 issue of Professional Safety magazine, it can be found online at SafetyRisk. 

We encourage you to read about the Eight Questions to Ask Before Using Zero as a Safety Target. And then let's talk about motivation, perfection, control versus variability, cognitive limitations, leadership and more! 

As covered in the article (and we agree!): 

  • Although zero-injury safety targets are more common than ever, their underlying logic may be suspect in places.
  • Achieving zero-injury targets requires the will to support perfection and the ability to recognize and change every factor that could lead to an injury. 

Join us in creating safety. 




Topics: zero lost-time incidents, motivation, safety measurement

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