The ultimate risk to Personal Safety is the compromised safe behaviour of the individual due to the individual’s physical or mental state.
Gary Higbee identifies 4 key risk states:
Higbee’s research showed that one or more of these states where present in over 95% of accidents and incidents
These risk states then impact on performance and lead to people making critical errors in the following ways:
|Visual||Eyes not on task|
|Concentration||Mind not on task|
|Kinaesthetic||Losing Balance, traction, grip|
|Physical Location Situational Awareness / “Line of Fire”||“Line of fire” is a military term that describes the path of a discharged missile or firearm. It’s the path an object will travel. In the rail workplace there are many objects and hazards that have potential to create line of fire exposure.|
Impaired performance then results in errors and unexpected events such as near misses and incidents.
Complacency is worth separate consideration as it represents a particular risk to Personal Safety. Larry Wilson in his book quotes the following personal example:
“Years back we were over at the mother-in-law’s for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the huge turkey spread, and while we’re eating, it starts snowing. We start assessing whether we should drive home or stay the night – we look out the window at how much it’s snowing and judge it isn’t really that bad…. We check the Internet. Welook at the weather reports. We even turn on the radio to hear about road closures. We are basically making all kinds of assessments about the physical risk.
None of us – including me – until we’re at about the third hour of the drive home, and I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open – thought, “What is the risk of driving 3 hours after a big turkey dinner and falling asleep at the wheel?” We didn’t think about that at all.And yet people falling asleep at the wheel represents approximately 25% of the fatal car crashes in Canada and the United States.
But there’s a natural tendency for people to look solely at the physical environment and physical hazards when they’re doing a risk assessment and totally neglect the essential question of “What is my state of mind?” or “How complacent have I become with this activity?” These are rarely questions that people ask during assessments. And yet complacency is a major and minor contributing factorwith almost every accidental acute injury”
The hallmark of a genuine organisational commitment to establishing and maintaining a culture of safety is when employees take personal ownership for the safe behaviour of themselves, their colleagues and customers.
Many employees make the dangerous assumption that accidents are something that happen to other people, and therefore that workplace safety is not their personal priority. They do not take personal ownership for safe behaviour.
The goal for any industry for which safety is critical is to reach ‘habit-strength’ for safe behaviour—defined as everyone demonstrating safe behaviour all of the time. This is not a ‘blue-sky’ goal – teams repeatedly demonstrate that not only can they reach this goal but also understand the importance of admitting when they haven’t.
Good examples are: Canadian Pacific Railway which reported a 46% decrease in human-caused incidents following the implementation of their Safety Programme; in military aviation, reports suggest that the occurrence of accidents has reduced by 81% following their introduction of Personal Safety and Human Factors training.
Telling people not to make errors or trying to change human nature to eradicate error is not an effective approach to managing risk and Personal Safety.
Individuals must be given easily accessible and practical approaches to managing and mitigating risk in their personal behaviour.
This necessitates a systematic approach to addressing the key areas of all Personal Safety:
From this approach we arrive at a powerful and meaningful set of tools and techniques unique to the individuals in their given role to maximise their Personal Safety.
Vision and Strategy
Learning and Growth
Personalised Safety Plan
Accident Rates following Arcadia Alive Intervention.
In the three years prior to our work they ran an average incident/accident rate of 2.89 per period. In the twelve months following our work they ran an average of 0.25.
" The course was very informative. There are many different techniques and strategies that I am keen to try out. I should think that there is something in this course for anyone with an open mind. "
" It's made me think about and recognise what I can be in control of and responsible for. "
" Leaving with a better insight into myself, how I do things, and how this affects those around me. "
" All enjoyed the group’s open participation "
" The Programme made me stop and think about me as a person, even to question myself "
" I now feel I know how to work a lot better and also how to improve on my weaknesses "
" Particularly liked the discussion and reflection aspects. "
" Excellent hand-outs! "
" Very informative "
" Very balanced "
" I found the course very helpful and I have learnt a lot from it to help me cope with work and everyday stuff "
" This training has boosted my confidence "
" I found out a lot about myself "
" Excellent. There are lots of things that most participants will implement from this Programme at work "
" Encouragement of active participation of all participants "