Originally posted on Caterpillar Safety Service’s Safety Culture WORLD blog http://safetycultureworld.blogspot.com/and reposted here with Caterpillar’s permission.
There are volumes written on effective goals and how to accomplish them. From a safety perspective, many organizations struggle immensely with setting and achieving effective safety goals that help reduce injuries. Downstream goals, focused on injury rates, are a reactive approach to what you don’t want to occur. Upstream goals are based on activities which reduce the probability of injuries occurring.
The point of the above paragraph is to encourage you to set goals for things you have control over.
Focusing on goals within reach will help you achieve the objectives and goals you do not have control over. What can you and your organization do today, or in the near future, that will help you deliver a lesser injury rate? Focusing on reacting to injury rates does not do this. It is the upstream processes and associated activities which deliver downstream performance excellence that count. This is true whether it be in cost, quality, customer service or safety.
Keep your goals focused, using appropriate, related activities, on what you can control, which, in turn, will help you deliver the objectives you do not have control over.