How confident are you that a costly, serious safety event isn’t just around the next corner? If your organization has ever been surprised or caught off-guard by a sudden deterioration in its safety performance, it may be that you’re simply not getting the whole picture when it comes to operational risk. When organizations measure performance by outputs and results they often believe that if nothing bad has happened today, then tomorrow should bring more of the same. But an imperfect system cannot produce perfect results. So when it comes to operational risk, metrics need to be employed that provide not just a more accurate picture of performance, but a level of assurance that tomorrow will truly not bring any unpleasant surprises.
Fortunately, for most organizations, serious safety events are relatively rare. But it’s precisely this infrequency that lulls organizations into a false sense of security and why actions taken in the aftermath of such events often fall short of anything that resembles a permanent “fix”.