By Colin Duncan
Despite breakthroughs more than a decade ago highlighting the different character of fatalities and serious injuries (FSIs or SIFs) compared with less consequential incidents, the worst events have remained stubbornly resistant to prevention. The patterns during the intervening years further validated those essential findings and demonstrated the struggles most leadership teams encounter in learning from them. The question for safety leaders in preventing FSIs, especially fatalities, is not how to downgrade the threat to below debilitating or lethal levels, but how through better asset management to eliminate it entirely.
In our analyses and experience, one factor differentiates the majority of FSIs and FSI near-misses from other incidents: the level of energy in proximity to a worker. Let’s discuss the historical challenges of managing safety in addressing FSI exposure as well as cover eight steps to identify, assess, predict, and manage how FSI events in industrial assets can be avoided.