Safety Excellence Defined

What is safety excellence? Is it simply zero accidents or is it much more than that?  In the article written by Terry Mathis, “Safety and Performance Excellence: Zero Accidents Does Not Equal Safety Excellence” safety excellence is discussed.  Mathis states that having zero accidents or any sort of decrease in the number of safety incidents does not show how truly safe the facility is.  These factors could be a result of safety incentives, lack of or manipulated record keeping or just by luck.  True safety runs much deeper than numbers.  Mathis says that three things are needed in order to achieve actual safety excellence:

1.)    Strategy: A safety strategy is different than safety goals or targets.  Goals and targets are important but having the game plan to achieve them is imperative.  Taking the time to define and design a safety strategy that is specific for your organization is important.  Using an “off the shelf” safety plan may help aid improvement, but may be confusing as some parts of the strategy may not go with rules that you have in place.

2.)    Process Indicators: Many companies rely on “lagging indicators” to measure safety.  These indicators do tell if they are doing better, worse or the same.  These indicators do not tell what type of improvement is needed.  Process indicators measure how well the processes in the safety plan are working.  You are able to see how good results are produced.

3.)    Culture: A safety culture that understands the safety strategy and can see and understand the process indicators are able to maintain safety excellence on a day to day basis and well into the future.  True safety just becomes the way things are done.

SLIPNOT products may help maintain safety excellence within a facility.  The high traction metal flooring products are long lasting and can help improve worker confidence in slippery situations.  Knowing that management takes safety seriously helps workers take safety seriously as well.


Mathis, Terry. “Safety and Performance Excellence: Zero Accidents Does Not Equal Safety Excellence.” January 9, 2013. January 18, 2013. <>

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