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Now some sites will have a litany of near misses without ever suffering an accident. And that’s the problem with luck: it looks back in hindsight and assumes good, because no one got hurt. On the other hand, good seeks to discover and prevent the circumstances under which incidents might occur.
Luck vs. Good
Put simply: good is leading,
luck is lagging.
At Balfour Beatty, we believe that even one injury is too many. It’s why we named our safety program as Zero Harm, which we take to mean zero deaths, zero injuries to our people or the public and zero ruined lives. Our safety, health and environment experts continually study industry trends about incidents in order to prevent them on our jobs.
Zero Harm. Total Focus.
So what's the real problem?
The nature of construction is adapting to things on the fly. From material staged where it’s not supposed to be to work performed out of sequence to unanticipated groundwater, construction workers must adapt to complex, changing conditions every day, and in most cases, do so without suffering any incidents or injuries.
And just like the driver casually changing lanes, construction workers adapt to these situations without thinking twice.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance.
Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
The problem is that this leads to what we call in the construction industry: near misses. And the more near misses one has, the more likely they’ll be “hit” by a catastrophic event.
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From changing lanes with a vehicle in your blind spot to crossing the street with your head in your cell phone, our brains go into autopilot when we perform familiar tasks, and we only think about potential risks only after it’s too late.
It's Better to be
Lucky Than Good.
Until You're Neither