In a wonderful book on EHS called The Richest Man in Babylon, George Classon tells a story of an aspiring EHS professional who can’t break out of the incident investigation cycle. Injury, investigation, another injury, another investigation…and so on.
If you’ve read the book (and it’s one I highly suggest), you know that Classon really writes about personal and business finances and not safety.
But the principles? Exactly the same.
In the classic book, Classon writes about a poor man and his journey to wealth. He meets a rich businessman who advises him throughout the book.
The first lesson? “Pay Ourselves First.” Take 10% of your salary and save it. Before bills and before any spending. In safety, if we spend all of our resources investigating injuries (paying bills), we won’t have enough left over to work on prevention (saving and investing).
Another lesson is on risk management. “Insurance Protects Wealth.” Risk transfer and reduction are key to both finance and sound safety and risk management programs.
The last two applicable lessons are “Invest in Ourselves” and “Track Your Wealth.” Consistent personal and professional development are THE difference between the average and extraordinary EHS professional. And finally, in EHS we track our bills (injury log), but how could we better track our wealth (prevention successes)?
Are you just paying your bills? Or are you investing for the future?