Zero-injury goal unrealistic, even harmful

Real safety goal should be: ‘At the end of the day, everyone gets to go home’
By Rob Stewart
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/29/2008

The zero-employee-accident objective is so embedded in the corporate mindset that it is difficult to challenge without being burned at the stake for heresy.

But the notion of zero injuries must be challenged because, despite its widespread adoption, it has had little impact on reducing fatality rates, as evidenced by Alberta reporting a 24-per-cent increase in workplace deaths in 2007.

The basic premise behind zero-employee-incidents is that if it is possible to go one day without an injury-causing incident, then it is possible to have two days without incident. Two days can become a week, a week can turn into months and months can become years.