The discussion over zero will intensify: There are many who espouse the goal and target of zero. There are just as many who look upon this as a harmful endeavour. Zero is a laudable goal, something which all agree upon. That is where the agreement ends. For the emotionally invested, any goal other than zero is unconscionable. Others maintain that if such a goal is unachievable, then it promotes risk-taking behaviour. The other problem with zero is that it means you have a huge problem – no data. With the lack of information comes the assumption that everything is safe. That assumption is not true as we have seen in so many examples. Those who love zero also love zero tolerance and absolute rules – another damaging aspect of the cult(ure) of zero which promotes “hypercompliance.” In 2017 we will continue to see those better informed challenge the zero mantras. After all, a zero goal without a strategy or workable plan yields zero results.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.cos-mag.com/personal-process-safety/columns/trends-in-health-and-safety-for-2017/