Coaching isn't easyThe rap against setting a goal of zero injuries is that workers know it is an impossibility, and will tune out further safety messages.

Three different safety experts at ASSE’s Safety 2013 gave us almost identical definitions:

First, you start by asking employees, “Can you go a day without an injury?”

Well, yeah, probably.”

So the day does go by without an injury.”

Next you ask: “Can we go a week without an injury?”

“Hmm… it’s possible.”

The week finishes up without an injury.

“How about a month? Can we go a month without an injury?”


And the month passes without an injury.

“OK, we’ve made great progress. And we are checking and interviewing to make sure no injuries are being hidden. This is fanatistic. Can we go six months without an injury?”

“We’ll try. So far so good.”

And maybe you reach six months injury-free. Maybe you don’t, and an injury (or two) occurs. What you have shown employees is that there is a journey you take to get to zero injuries. One day at a time. It’s a journey worth embarking on, because, well, what is a positive alternative?