How do you mitigate security risks

Three strategies: Targeted reduction of dangers

The first part of this article dealt with a major challenge in occupational safety: How can risks be minimized? Because it is precisely inconspicuous or simple activities in which most occupational accidents occur. The reason for this is usually that something unforeseen happens. However, we are not at the mercy of this without protection: Unexpected security risks can - to a certain extent - be brought under control. Three strategies will help you, which we will briefly introduce to you in this article. This is how you take your accident prevention to the next level!

SafeStart complements conventional security strategies

In most countries there are extensive regulations on the subject of occupational safety. In addition, the companies have established important measures to reduce risks. These measures help to avoid numerous accidents or at least to minimize their consequences. However, they primarily focus on the environment and try to make the work environment safer. However, we know from our many years of experience in working with customers from all sectors and industries: 95 percent of accidents are caused by the inattention of people. This is exactly where the SafeStart Method comes in by drawing attention to the human factors. In the following we show how SafeStart complements the usual security strategies.

1. Plan for the unexpected

Whether it's a routine activity, a new project or far-reaching changes in the company: Be aware that even with activities that you have already carried out a thousand times over, something unforeseen can always happen. Ideally, you should run through appropriate scenarios and thus draw attention to potential hazards in advance. In particular, emphasize the dangers that are easily overlooked. Because the more aware your employees are of the black ice on the way to the construction site, for example, the less likely it is that they will slip.

2. Talking is gold: Talking (correctly) about security risks

Nobody knows the specific sources of danger as well as those who deal with them. By talking to their employees about the specific dangerous situation and asking questions, safety officers achieve several positive effects:

  • Your employees feel included and valued.
  • As a security officer, you broaden your perspective and can identify potential threats more quickly and take appropriate measures.
  • The discussion at eye level - based on a common language - about safety issues strengthens communication between employees and contributes to a positive safety culture
  • They draw attention to the potential risks again and raise awareness of them.

The importance of the last point in particular should not be underestimated. Because the presence of theoretical knowledge does not mean that it is also present to you at the decisive moment and that you can apply it in real time. That is why accident prevention measures always fail precisely when it matters. For this reason and based on our experience, we also recommend the third strategy in addition:

3. Learn safety-related skills with SafeStart

Almost 100 percent of all injuries can be traced back to the injured person - because they do something unexpected. This usually happens when we're tired, frustrated, hectic, or overestimating ourselves. At the crucial moment, when actually existing knowledge takes a back seat, we make these unintentional mistakes, which can have far-reaching consequences.

With the right knowledge and a specifically trained awareness, these causes can be avoided. This prevents critical errors before they happen. For example, the techniques for reducing critical errors (“Critical Error Reduction Techniques”, CERTs for short), which each individual can learn and apply at the decisive moment, help. These techniques also work when the situation is “not normal”, for example when you are in a hurry or are frustrated.

Accident prevention taken one step further: also immune to the unexpected

In summary, we can state what our many years of experience in occupational safety show: Personal safety is in the hands of each individual. A security awareness trained in this regard forms the basis for converting

  1. Include unexpected security risks
  2. properly deal with hidden security risks
  3. to react accordingly
  4. Avoid unintentional mistakes - in the moment that matters.

These strategies for accident prevention in occupational safety can be transferred to other areas of life and business. Accidents outside the workplace can also be reduced in this way. Companies also benefit from this: after all, “accidents in leisure time” also lead to downtimes and sick leave, which vary depending on the industry.

You can find out how effective accident prevention works and how your employees (and your company as a whole) benefit from it under Implementing SafeStart.


(Cover picture: © Gorodenkoff |