Here is the contents of If You Can't Measure It - Maybe You Shouldn't:

  1. Measuring, why and how
  2. Measuring what?
  3. Safety First?
  4. Measurement: Beware
  5. Preventable Accidents…
  6. If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It
  7. Constructs
  8. Zero S.M.A.R.T.
  9. Correlation or Causation?
  10. Injury Rates Tell How Well You Do
  11. Surrogates or the Real Deal?
  12. Who Are We Gonna Hurt Today?
  13. The More Data, the Better
  14. Red = Bad
  15. Forget SMART. Go Fuzzy
  16. Intervention, NOW!
  17. Ups and Downs: What Accident Statistics can tell us
  18. Causal Confusion
  19. Zero, Zero, Nothing: A Vision with Zero Need of Zero-Goals
  20. You Can Manage What You Measure - But Does It Help?
  21. Green Reports, Red Talks
  22. The Relevance of Outcomes
  23. Sifting through SIF
  24. Lies, Damn Lies, and…
  25. Zero Harm: Occupational Disease
  26. Only Leading Indicators Needed
  27. Safety Incentive Schemes
  28. Benchmarking Is Good for Safety
  29. Alternatives and Suggestions
  30. Further Reading

Now available:


Dutch version: Veiligheidsfabels 1-2-3


CAUTION: Reading this book or parts thereof may

seriously harm your professional beliefs and habits


From the back cover:

The Safety Profession has a problem. Over the past decades, it has been a fertile feeding ground for Myths, Misconceptions and Misunderstandings.

Pyramids, dominos, ratios, certification, zeros, absolutes, rules, audits, positive mind-set, culture change, observation schemes, checklists, best practices, slogans, Safety First, errors, root causes and risk matrices. You name it and someone will probably have twisted it into something that it should not be, through mechanisms like: visions-turned-goals, tools out of context, black and white thinking, means-becoming-the-goal, rituals without proper understanding, correlation instead of causation or belief in Silver Bullets.

This book collects 123 (and then some) of these Safety Myths. Crisp and compact discussions address weaknesses of conventional safety ‘wisdom’ and give suggestions for alternative approaches and improvement.

The author mixes over two decades of professional experience, theory, practice, anecdotes, examples, and not in the last place humour, into a very readable and easy to understand different view on safety.

To see the contents and a quick overview, go to the Contents Page.

To see what others thought about the book, find a selection on the Feedback Page.

An Erratum is available that also includes many of the illustrations of the book in colour and larger size.
Download the Erratum here.


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Recently, I had the pleasure to have a conversation about safety, myths and more with Jeff Dalto from Covergence Training. 

Jeff did a wonderful job transcribing the whole hour and put it out on the Convergence website.

Watch and read it here:

We are proud to present the Dutch, adapted version of Safety Myth 101. Vakmedianet did a fabulous job and it has become a very book of its own, thanks to the contents (that has changed through language) and through the smashing layout.

Find an extremely positive review of the book on, Sigma and Or the blog on ManagementImpact.

New review on Arbobekwaam.

Get it from the publisher, Vakmedianet, or for example from online bookstore

Review from Health and Safety at Work

Review from NVVK Info 2016/04

Review by Greg Morse

Review from Tijdschrijft voor Toegepaste Arbowetenschappen

Review from Lusa-One by Anders Ellerstrand

Below a selection from the overwhelmingly positive feedback on the book:

“A book like this one should be on each manager desk. It will help implementing safety culture and in the same time managers will understand how important is safety and the benefits.”

“Gathering new ideas, and experience of implemented ideas. So much input is hidden inside.”

“Easy understandable for non-safety people.”

“Buy two copies! Give one to your boss and then get ready to finally let go of some of the Myths of Safety and actually start CREATING SAFETY! Well done, Carsten, well done!”

“I originally wanted to read just one myth a day, but I found hard to put down…”

“An impressive range of topics.”

“I like the way you write about safety: positively and recognizable. Safety can be a nice subject to write about!”

“A book that needed to be done for a while. It will get people thinking.”

“It’s written very clearly and easy to understand. No need to have studied safety to understand. A must for every Safety Professional’s bookshelf.”

“Very accessible, even for laypersons.”

“A must read (very much including the footnotes). Takes courageously on longstanding safety myths and traditions in a most convincing manner while somehow not becoming a scold. An important and highly readable contribution to the safety literature.”

“The many examples (often taken from everyday life, others from work situations) make things easy to understand.”

“This is going to shake up the safety business quite a bit! That's a good thing!”

“Easy to understand, even for those who don’t read English every day.”

“One of the most important Safety Management related books published in the last decade. This is a must read for everyone who sincerely wants to improve Safety and not waste their collective time doing what simply doesn’t work.” 

“The great examples bring the book to life.”

“Safety Myths 101 has become my new favourite book. It was heartening to see myths being busted.”

“A perfect if you need to find a subject to talk about in a professional setting.”

“Carsten effectively takes on many basic safety traditions (e.g. the accident pyramid, all accidents are preventable) and myths that are standing in the way of safety progress. Not a book for those who resist being provoked to think outside the lines of tradition.”

“Thank you for doing this!”

“This should be required reading for all Safety Professionals and those that ply their wares to the industry. A bit of balance to the desire to compartmentalise everything and slap on a label, perpetuating the illusion of control.”