What Should You REALLY Be Afraid Of?

January 21, 2013 by John Oliver

For the last few years we've been steadily adding more and more content to this site. True to our domain name, the new content we add is almost exclusively related to promoting a culture of safety. When browsing through our library of safety tips, you'll notice that the large majority of our resources start with a real life story outlining some horrifying accident, injury or death. We do this for a reason. We tell stories like this one to provide readers with the insight that sometimes innocent behavior can lead absolutely devastating consequences.

After these shocking opening stories we provide statistics to put the risk into context. In some instances, the statistics make it clear that an injury is more severe than it is frequent (e.g. decapitations on school buses), while other injuries are clearly more frequent than they are severe (e.g. injuries on stability exercise balls). This context is important.

If an organization had to dedicate limited resources to either preventing school bus decapitations or stability ball injuries, they would need accurate information to help weigh the return on investment. Would an organization be safer if they spent $500 welding bus windows shut, or if they spent $500 creating warning signs and providing more training for gym members on stability ball use?

When developing a risk management plan like this one, there are rarely any clear cut decisions. You'll have to weigh the pros and cons of lots of different policies and programs. The truly hard part though is not getting too caught up in the dramatic stories that make media headlines.

The idea behind the following infographic may help in making some of these difficult decisions easier. If you can effectively remove hype and emotion from the decision making process and determine what you should really be afraid of, you'll be in a better position to reduce injuries and insurance claims.

What do you think?

Are you surprised by some of the statistics in this infographic? What things do you maybe spend too much time worrying about or preparing for?

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