papers, blogs and other information
Swuste et al. 2010 paper that sheds light on the early safety movement:
© Copyright mindtherisk.com
Preventing Industrial Accidents. Reappraising H. W. Heinrich – More than Triangles and Dominoes.
Read some sections of the book online.
Read some of the feedback on the book.
Here you can find sections that had to be edited out of the final version of the book, but provide worthwhile enhancement.
Heinrich’s Local Rationality: Shouldn’t ‘New View’ Thinkers Ask Why Things Made Sense To Him?
Here you can find a discussion of Heinrich's papers which was part of the literature research done for the thesis (and book). While they do not provide the actual papers, you can glimpse their contents and get some quotes along with some critique and reflections.
Busch, C. (2020) Myth Busting: De 88% van Heinrich. NVVK Info, 29 (1): 12-14.
An article that I wrote for the quarterly magazine of NVVK (Dutch society of safety science).
Heinrich's Local Rationality - PDSC session 26 June 2020
Near misses - orgins, triangles and challenges. (18 December 2020)
The slides accompanying the podcast can be found here: https://de.calameo.com/read/002705743f649692f40b8
Young NVVK - Safety Forward - 20-01-2021
I give an introduction to Heinrich's work in Dutch from ca. 5 to 35 min. Will edit this when I find the time.
Safety Myth Busting: The 80 Percent Conclusion
Dealing critically with the 88:10:2 ratio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_ruAmKkdxM&t=2s
Meet The Author
19 February 2021
© Copyright mindtherisk.com
This page collects material that most likely influenced Heinrich in his thinking about safety.
The 1931 Bibliography
Beyer, D.S. (1916) Industrial Accident Prevention. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Find the book online (and download if you fancy): https://archive.org/details/industrialaccid00beyegoog/page/n1
Here is a very positive review from when it came out: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/212741
My own summary/discussion of the source: https://mindtherisk.com/literature/200-industrial-accident-prevention-by-david-stewart-beyer
Beyer also wrote an interesting paper on the early years of safety:
Beyer, D.S. (1917) Accident Prevention. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 70, Modern Insurance Problems: 238-243. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1013605
Cowee, G.A. (1916) Practical Safety Methods and Devices. Manufacturing and Engineering. New York: D. Van Nostrand Company.
Read and download the book online: https://archive.org/details/practicalsafetym00cowe/page/n4
Swuste et al. discuss Cowee and his contemporaries in their informative 2010 paper that sheds light on the early safety movement: https://tudelft.openresearch.net/image/2016/11/24/swuste_vangulijk_zwaard_2010_safety_science_48.pdf
My own summary/discussion of the source: https://mindtherisk.com/literature/201-practical-safety-methods-and-devices-manufacturing-and-engineering-by-george-alvin-cowee
Ashe, S.W. (1917) Organization in Accident Prevention. New York: McGraw-Hill.
A digital version is available for online reading, and download: https://archive.org/details/cu31924003811266/page/n6
My own summary/discussion of the source: https://mindtherisk.com/literature/202-organization-in-accident-prevention-by-sydney-w-ashe
Lange, F.G. (1926) Handbook of Safety and Accident Prevention. New York: The Engineering Magazine Company.
At this moment no digital version appears to be available online. But you can find a review online:
Hayhurst, E.R. (1926) Handbook of Safety and Accident Prevention. American Journal of Public Health and the Nations Health, 16(7): 730–731. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1321244/pdf/amjphealth00019-0062.pdf
My own summary/discussion of the source: https://mindtherisk.com/literature/198-handbook-of-safety-and-accident-prevention-by-f-g-lange
DeBlois, L.A. (1926) Industrial Safety Organization for Executive and Engineer. New York: McGraw-Hill.
You can read the book online - and download it: https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.149661
My own summary/discussion of the source: https://mindtherisk.com/literature/199-industrial-safety-organization-for-executive-and-engineer-by-lewis-a-deblois
Williams, S.J. (1927) The Manual of Industrial Safety. Chicago & New York: A.W. Shaw Company.
At this moment no digital version appears to be available online, and getting an original copy is next to impossible...
My own summary/discussion of the source: https://mindtherisk.com/literature/197-the-manual-of-industrial-safety-by-sidney-williams
Fisher, E.B. (1922) Mental Causes of Accidents. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Read the book online or download it: https://archive.org/details/mentalcausesacc01fishgoog/page/n21
Review by Sidney J. Williams: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/253559, or https://www.jstor.org/stable/1824585
There is another (long) review by G.F. Mischelbacher here (on page 57): https://www.casact.org/pubs/proceed/proceed23/23049.pdf
My own summary/discussion of the source: https://mindtherisk.com/literature/203-mental-causes-of-accidents-by-boyd-fisher
Chase, S. (1929) Men And Machines. New York: The MacMillan Company.
Find the book online: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000953295
My own summary/discussion of the source: https://mindtherisk.com/literature/195-men-and-machines-by-stuart-chase
Dow, M.A. (1928) Stay Alive! In Which Jim the Truckman gently kicks the Drivin’ Fools and Walkin’ Yaps. New York: Marcus Dow Publishers.
Not available online, and hard to find.
Slocombe, C.S. & Bingham, W.V. (1927) Men Who Have Accidents: Individual Differences Among Motormen and Bus Operators. Personnel Journal, 6: 251–257.
I managed to find this paper here: https://archive.org/details/personneljournal06persuoft/page/250
Safety Institute of America (1920) Safety Fundamentals. New York: Safety Institute of America.
These can be read and downloaded here: https://archive.org/details/safetyfundamenta00safe
© Copyright mindtherisk.com
Heinrich's original work is not easy to find with his books out of print for several decades. However, some can be found online and hopefully more will be accessible in the future. Below you will find links to some of the original texts by Heinrich that are to be found on the web.
The numbering of sources corresponds to the referencing in my book.
Heinrich, H.W. (1927b) Incidental Cost of Accidents to the Employer. Monthly Labor Review, 25 (2): 46-50.
Heinrich, H.W. (1929c) Relation Of Accident Statistics To Industrial Accident Prevention. Proceedings of the Casualty Actuarial Society 1929-1930: 170-174.
Heinrich, H.W. (1930a) The Foreman's Responsibility for Accidents. Monthly Labor Review, 30 (2): 83-88.
Heinrich, H.W. (1930c) Cost of Industrial Accidents to the State, the Employer, and the Man. Monthly Labor Review, 31 (5): 72-87.
Heinrich, H.W. (1944) Basics of Supervision. New York: Alfred M. Best Company.
Heinrich, H.W. (1949) Formula for Supervision: Outlining the Application of Supervisory Control to Secure, Safe, Efficient Work Performance. New York: National Foremen’s Institute, Inc.
ASME (1947) Form for Use in Self-Appraisal of Industrial Plants. New York: The American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
© Copyright mindtherisk.com
Here is the contents of If You Can't Measure It - Maybe You Shouldn't:
- Measuring, why and how
- Measuring what?
- Safety First?
- Measurement: Beware
- Preventable Accidents…
- If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It
- Zero S.M.A.R.T.
- Correlation or Causation?
- Injury Rates Tell How Well You Do
- Surrogates or the Real Deal?
- Who Are We Gonna Hurt Today?
- The More Data, the Better
- Red = Bad
- Forget SMART. Go Fuzzy
- Intervention, NOW!
- Ups and Downs: What Accident Statistics can tell us
- Causal Confusion
- Zero, Zero, Nothing: A Vision with Zero Need of Zero-Goals
- You Can Manage What You Measure - But Does It Help?
- Green Reports, Red Talks
- The Relevance of Outcomes
- Sifting through SIF
- Lies, Damn Lies, and…
- Zero Harm: Occupational Disease
- Only Leading Indicators Needed
- Safety Incentive Schemes
- Benchmarking Is Good for Safety
- Alternatives and Suggestions
- Further Reading
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.
Order from Amazon.com.
Order from Amazon.de.
Order from Amazon.ca.
Order from Amazon.co.uk.
Order from CreateSpace.
Kindle edition from Amazon.com.
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.
New review on Arbobekwaam.
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.”
Safety Myth 101: A Quick Overview
The book contains seven chapters, some of these divided into sub-chapters. The chapters and sub-chapters are collections of Myths that are loosely related and all deal with the subject of the (sub)-chapter.
The Myths are discussions of a subject or of a couple of related subjects. These discussions are as compact as possible, taking between one and four pages. To keep things compact, some points or comments have been placed in endnotes. This is information that is important (or at least interesting, or sometime just funny), but not essential for the point to be made. You do not need to read endnotes to get the point, but you might miss some goodies.
Most chapters contain additional material in the form of columns that are placed in shaded text boxes. These columns are typically reflections related to the chapter’s subject.
Each chapter comes with a section with recommendations for further reading (including brief reviews/summaries of the mentioned books) and, as mentioned, a section with endnotes.
Introduction: Houston, We Have a Problem
Why Are Things the Way They Are?
What Can Be Done?
I: General issues
Myth 1. Safety Is about Absence of Accidents
Myth 2. Safety Means Absence of Risk
Myth 3. Safety Is Black and White
Myth 4. Safety Is Something You Have
Myth 5. Hazards Are Undesirable
Myth 6. Safety and Security Are Two Different Things
Language and Communication
Myth 7. Language Doesn’t Matter
Myth 8. Difficult Jargon Demonstrates Competence
Myth 9. As Simple as Possible
Myth 10. Absolutes Are a Sign of Clear and Firm Communication
Myth 11. Slogans Are a Great Way to Enhance Safety
Myth 12. Culture and Resilience are Just Buzzwords
Column: Safety Behaviour Language between the Lines
Myth 13. Common Sense Is Just Common Sense
Myth 14. Safety Is Just Common Sense?
Myth 15. Don’t You Have Any Common Sense?
Myth 16. Models Are to Be Understood Literally
Myth 17. Causation Is Correlation
Myth 18. Follow the Crowd
Myth 19. The Application Is the Method
Myth 20. Research Explains Itself
II: The Safety Professional
Myth 21. You Are a Bad Safety Professional if…
Myth 22. Safety Professional’s Behaviour Is Superhuman
Myth 23. Save the World!
Myth 24. Judging Safety Professionals by Preventing Accidents
Myth 25. Safety Stat Accountability
Myth 26. Authority to STOP
Myth 27. The Safety Pro’s Prime Responsibility Is Safety
Myth 28. The Safety Pro Has All the Answers
Myth 29. No Need to Read Professional Literature
Myth 30. Sticking to Safety
Myth 31. You Know Nothing, Jon Snow
Myth 32. Being Out There
Myth 33. Safety Cops
Myth 34. Diplomas Make Good Safety Professionals
Myth 35. Accidental Safety Experts
Myth 36. Humour Has No Place in Safety
III: Safety Management & More
Myth 37. The PDCA Cycle Was Invented by Deming
Myth 38. Surely PPE Will Keep You Safe?
Myth 39. Management and Leadership Are the Same Thing
Myth 40. Safety Can Be Managed Separately
Myth 41. Compliance Is What We Need
Myth 42. Sanction-Enhanced Safety
Myth 43. Safety Rules Are for Safety Only
Myth 44. Golden Rules
Myth 45. ISO Certification Ensures Controlling Your Risks
Myth 46. Copy a Safety Program That Works
Myth 47. The More Safety Measures, the Better
Myth 48. Silver Bullets
Myth 49. The 1 : 29 : 300 Ratio
Myth 50. Heinrich’s Pyramid Is about Causation
Myth 51. Normal Accident Theory Is the Opposite of HRO
Myth 52. Observation Programs Create Safety
Myth 53. Safe and Unsafe Behaviour
Myth 54. Be Careful!
Myth 55. Mistakes Are Bad
Myth 56. Safety Is a Choice
Myth 57. Check/Study = Audit
Myth 58. Absolutes Make Great Audit Criteria
Myth 59. Disorder Is the Natural Enemy of Safety
Myth 60. Management of Change = Change Management?
Myth 61. We Have Been Doing This for 30 Years
Myth 62. Safety Culture = Following Safety Rules
Myth 63. A Positive Mind-Set Is Necessary to Create Safety
Myth 64. Toilets Tell about Culture
Myth 65. Safety Culture Must be Changed
Myth 66. Culture Change Is a Top-Down Process
Myth 67. Safety Culture Certification
Myth 68. Safety Is Everybody’s Responsibility
V: Measuring Safety, Goals and Indicators
Myth 69. If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It
Myth 70. Safety First!
Myth 71. Injury Rates Tell How Well You Are Doing at Safety
Myth 72. Our Goal Must Be Zero!
Myth 73. No Zero Harm Goal? You Plan to Hurt People!
Myth 74. Incentive Schemes Improve Safety
Myth 75. One Needs Only Leading Indicators
Myth 76. Three Incidents?! We MUST Have Actions!
Myth 77. The More Data, the Better
Myth 78. Benchmarking Is Good for Safety
Myth 79. Red = Bad
Column: Zero Harm Is an Occupational Disease
VI: Incidents, Accidents and their Causes
Myth 80. All Accidents Are Preventable
Myth 81. ‘Acts of God’ Are No Accidents
Myth 82. Shit Happens?
Myth 83. People Are the Problem
Myth 84. The 88: 10: 2 Ratio
Myth 85. Heinrich’s Dominos? Really?
Myth 86. Accidents Happen Like a String Of Dominos Tumbling
Myth 87. Accident-prone, Anyone?
Myth 88. No Causes Needed for Corrective Action
Myth 89. The Accident Board Investigates. We Don’t Have To!
Myth 90. Incidents not Worth Reporting
Myth 91. Investigation until the Root Cause
Myth 92. Labelling Causes Is Useful
Myth 93. THE Cause
Myth 94. Management Causes
Myth 95. Non-Compliance Equals Cause
Myth 96. All Accidents Are Complex Non-linear Events
Myth 97. Could Have, Should Have…
Myth 98. We Can Only Learn from Things that Went Wrong
Myth 99. Causes, Conditions, Context and Confusion
Myth 100. Counting Causes Is Useful
Column: Five GREAT Reasons for Not Reporting Incidents
VII: Risk and Risk Assessment
Myth 101. Risk Must Be Eliminated
Myth 102. Risk Is only Probability and Consequence
Myth 103. Probability Is about Numbers
Myth 104. Risk and Uncertainty Are the Same
Myth 105. Probability Cannot Be Used for Security Events
Myth 106. Risk Is Determined Based on Objective Factors
Myth 107. Black Swans Are the Same as ‘Acts of God’
Myth 108. Worst Case Scenarios
Myth 109. Risk Assessments Can Be Done by Safety Pros Alone
Myth 110. Risk Assessments without Safety Professionals?
Myth 111. Risk Assessment Documents Are Huge Reports
Myth 112. Hazard Identification Is a Waste of Time
Myth 113. Only Our Imagination Limits…
Myth 114. Risk Assessments Are Time Consuming and Tedious
Myth 115. Risk Assessment by Checklist
Myth 116. Quantitative Risk Assessments Are so Much Better
Myth 117. Qualitative Assessments Are the Easy Way Out
Myth 118. Risk Acceptance Criteria
Myth 119. ALARP Is Only about Cost and Benefit
Myth 120. Multiplying Equals Quantitative Risk Assessment
Myth 121. Qualitative Risk Assessments Equal Risk Matrices
Myth 122. Risk Assessment and Decision Making
Myth 123. LMRA
Column: 12 Do’s for Risk Assessments
Back to the Safety Myth 101 main page.
For contact, inquiries or comments on posted articles, please drop a line at info (at) mindtherisk.com
Mind The Risk is all about continuous improvement.
About the name...
There are many facets to the name. Just skimming the surface:
- A nice play on words with a safety-related topic.
- A link to the rail business where we (among others) come from.
- The concept of Risk is central in all elements of HSEQ - positive AND negative.
- Mindfulness (cf. Weick) is one way of handling risk.
- It hints at the psychological aspects of safety.
Right now Mind The Risk is only a portal for sharing information within the
field of HSEQ through regular blogs and reflections, sharing information on
relevant professional literature and sharing (own) publications.
In due time, we consider offering services to customers in need of support
and consultancy. These will include among others the following:
- Risk assessments
- HSEQ related training, including
- risk assessment
- incident investigation/learning from incidents
- KPIs, indicators
- general HSEQ management
- HSEQ related consultation
- Incident investigation
- Management systems
- Leading and lagging indicators
- Incident and HSEQ information systems
- Best practice
All of this can be delivered in a variety of languages - we're fluent in at least four
(English, Dutch, German and Norwegian/Scandinavian)
Don't be shy to ask!
Welcome to Mind The Risk
We are an independent allround knowledge base in the field of HSEQ
with over two decades of experience in various settings to show for.
After many years of working with the HEACH website (now alas down)
and HEACH blog, we considered it was time to take the next step...
And now we made yet another step - publishing our first book,
Safety Myth 101. Check out the details here.
What is Mind The Risk?
Mind The Risk is an allround knowledge transfer and consultancy service within
HSEQ (occupational health, safety, environmental care and quality management).
Experience and expertise includes professional training, risk assessment, incident
investigation, learning from incidents, auditing, developing and implementing
management systems, developing leading and lagging indicators, safety culture
related activities, and much more.
Who is behind Mind The Risk?
Mind The Risk was created by Carsten Busch. Carsten is an experienced HSEQ
manager (registered with the Dutch Society of Safety Science) who has gathered
over two decades of international experience on various levels in organizations within
transportation, industry, oil and gas and government. Carsten is fluent in at least four
languages: English, Dutch, German and Norwegian/Scandinavian.
Check the 'press and recommendations' link from the About us menu above for
Please select the 'contact' link from the About us menu above.