Thursday, April 23, 2009

Incident Severity Ratios - Inevitability or Opportunity?

As can be seen in the pyramid ratio published by Frank Bird in 1969 there is a clear correlation between minor non-consequential incidents and the ensuing serious high level impact outcomes. Although this ratio has been debated for years the reality is that a correlation exists, even if not at the exact ratio published. The big question is how are we using and interpreting this information?

· Do we use it as a timeline to our next major incident – trying to prevent the fatality or serious injury just before it happens or trying to prevent it from happening again?

· Or do we use it as a leading indicator, measuring the ongoing development and continuous improvement of our health and safety systems? (The reality is that incidents will always be a part of our lives, but we can reduce the impact and extent of the outcome by ensuring a solid foundation)

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