The research institutes of seven European countries1, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Poland, took part in a study on factors for the success of a “Zero Accident Vision” strategy. The study is based on 8819 first-hand accounts by workers and managers from 27 enterprises, in various sectors and of various sizes, which have all based their OSH policy on such a strategy.
The key idea of the “Zero Accident Vision” is that all accidents can be prevented. To achieve this, the survey clearly points to the need for significant commitment and involvement of both managers and workers, and for a strategy focused on commitment rather than control. Safety then becomes “a value of the organization but also of each individual”.
It is interesting to note the differences between conventional risk management and a “Zero Accident Vision” strategy:
- Instead of “preventing accidents”, the aim is to “create safety”;
- Safety is no longer an “operational challenge” but a “strategic challenge”;
- Compliance with rules and “we have to” become “involvement” and “we want to”;
- Instead of being “failures”, incidents “provide opportunities for learning”, etc.
A “Zero Accident Vision” strategy is therefore a whole mindset and way of acting, which, as the study showed, “is fully compatible with innovative management practices focused on the creation of an intrinsic motivation to improve the performance of the enterprise”.
1. CIOP, FIOH, HSL, IFA, NRCWE, Prevent, TNO