THE 6 – A Fundamental Approach to Serious Injuries and Fatalities

Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF) prevention is a new paradigm in the industry based on the concept of focusing safety efforts on the hazards that have the highest likelihood to seriously injure or kill someone working in construction.  As this focus continued to develop, we researched trends in our own incidents and found that one injury reduction strategy did not reach all kinds of injuries equally.

The new paradigm challenges the largely accepted model of the safety triangle, and the theory that smaller injuries predict larger ones and less serious hazards at the bottom of the safety triangle will effectively address high gravity hazards towards the top.

We reviewed over 1,500 incidents in a three-year period and found over 500 of those incidents as either being or having the potential to cause a serious injury.  We worked with the members of our safety committee to identify the safety hazards that are most likely to lead to a SIF. We then created a list of six indicators of hazards we believe are the most dangerous in the work we perform.

1. New Employees

2. Safe Zones

3. Traffic Control

4. Heat Stress

5. Overhead and Underground Utilities

6. Lockout/Tagout – Maintenance

These six indicators will be a tool that will serve as a quick guide to pre-planning and auditing.  It will be utilized in our daily TAR meetings and focused upon during leadership walks. The expectation will be that every employee from the CEO to our newest hourly employee will be aware of these indicators and understand the basic steps of prevention.  These do not encompass the entirety of the Barriere’s Safety Manual and does not eliminate those responsibilities.

We want to eliminate SIFs to keep our employees safe and prevent the physical and emotional devastation that would occur to the families and friends left behind.  This focus will help prevent these life-altering incidents.

Barriere endeavors to have a safety culture where everyone, by their attitudes and behaviors, commits to safety in everything that they do; where everyone commits to safety for themselves and builds personal relationships with their co-workers to improve the safety for all.