Dr. Edward de Bono, author of “Six Thinking Hats” and “Lateral Thinking”, cautioned against incrementalism in design when he wrote, “Removing the faults in a stage-coach may produce a perfect stage-coach, but it is unlikely to produce the first motor car.”
In EHS, we often find ourselves working on the stage-coach. When we recommend retraining or additional PPE in a post-incident investigation, we’re adjusting the harness on the coach. When we add more rules and increase penalties, we’re kicking the wood-spoked wheels of the coach.
But we need a motor car. Engineering out the hazard is difficult. Reducing exposure is tough. Building value through investments in safety is challenging.
Build the motor car.