Safety Profit

by Fargy

Safety makes money. Sometimes people don't see it that way. How can we make it clearer that money and safety are the same thing?

Safety and monetary value are both virtual ideas. We cannot point out safety or money as physical objects. We can identify a dollar bill or a lost time injury, but they aren't money or safety.

Both money and safety truly exist as abstract values. Time is money is an old saying. Our banks hold our worth and can transfer it digitally. Our money is pixels. Safety exists by the non-existence of harm. Zero harm.

So we have two virtual concepts that clash because one seems to be more easily measurable.

What is our purpose?

What is our purpose?

What is it that we are trying to achieve?

These are the questions at the core of any quest.  These questions should be easily answered by anyone that is following the vision of an organisation.

Sometimes people think every organisation is after money.

They see the measuring tool as the goal.

But it's not money, just ask any charity or volunteer organisation.

The primary aim of any organisation is to survive.

Organisations survive in order to fulfill their goals.

Money is one of the tools to achieving those goals.



Safe Money

Money and safety have an involved relationship.

Safe is even a word to describe a container for money.

Our banks like to portray themselves as trustworthy and safe.  That might be old fashioned thinking now, back in the day, banks used to build impressive columns and stone buildings to instill a feeling of safety in customers.

We think of having money as making us safe from the vagaries of life.

We spend money on insurance to make ourselves feel safer.

It's understandable that we confuse money as the goal.  When in reality what we want is Safety, we want a world where we go home from work every day, without any wounds.

We want a world where the same things happen day after day.

The old curse says;

"May you live in interesting times." 

Safety, means we live in uninteresting times.  In profitable times.




How Safety makes money.

In any organisation we aim to improve the flow of work.

We trim critical paths, we refocus on our organisational goals, we concentrate on our core competencies.

Safety does the same thing.

Safety includes more people though.

Safety involves every stakeholder, it not only involves them, it gives them power to perform actions.

Well, it should do, if done right.

The trouble can be that management see Safety as an imposition, an addition to their workload.    Employees readily pick up on that, and perform accordingly.

Managers such as these are self-fulfilling, they don't see how Safety makes money so they set up the system to fail.  It becomes a token effort.  In the end it does become an imposition.

True Safety Systems involve people, they teach a way of thinking that is truly managerial.  For everyone.

Every employee becomes observant and involved, they notice events in the workplace and get involved because it improves Safety.

That modus operandi also means operations become smoother, and more stable operations mean more money.

Safety means no excitement, no blood on the floor, no screaming sirens and no lawyers.

Safety means not gambling, not risk taking, by assessing risks and balancing against costs.

Exactly what accountants do.

Other articles, same author.

Farming is a dangerous act. Farms are typically the most dangerous work places. Why is this so and how can we make it not so?
Safety is serious, and it can easily be brushed off as boring, which poses a problem when trying to get people to think about safety.
We wear high visibility clothing to decrease our chance of accidents. Let's look a little closer.
Every group has someone that performs risk assessments more carefully and talks about safety more than others. These people become Safety Champions.
Updated: 10/22/2013, Fargy
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Fargy on 10/25/2013

Aye, there was an incident in India recently where people thought a bridge was collapsing, it didn't but people got crushed to death in the stampede.

It's that old two headed god, people got out to let their hair down and have fun with a few bevvies and a bit of a wild time, and someone has to contain the wildness. We want that wildness, otherwise we end up like North Korea. But we need the safety. I love the dichotomy.

JoHarrington on 10/25/2013

When I was at the University, I was the main First Aider for an entire campus. It was my job to check that people weren't getting hurt, and to patch them up when they were.

These days, I'm doing part-time admin for my cousin. He's got a security company - crowd control, close protection, door staff, that sort of thing. I only sit behind a desk now, but I'm much more hyper-aware of safety there, than I ever was at the University.

Everything that our company does boils down to safety. If our staff don't do their jobs, then the repercussions could literally be a matter of life and death. When you're trying to usher tens of thousands of people from one place to another, those are the stakes.

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