Educate Workers on Serious Injury & Fatality (SIF) Prevention - Safetip #189

Safety Tip and Best Practice
October 30, 2019

Our latest Safetip is about providing coaching and training to workers on the prevention of serious injury and fatality (SIF).

A New Safety Triangle

According to Heinrich’s safety triangle model, there are 29 minor injuries and 300 non-injury incidents for every major injury or fatality.

The triangle has been a fundamental concept in occupational safety for years. But according to a white paper from the Campbell Institute, Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention: Perspectives and Practices, there is a flaw in Heinrich’s safety triangle.

Not all non-injury incidents are equal in terms of their potential for resulting in serious injury and fatality (SIF), the white paper says. Only some near misses have the precursors that could lead to recordable injuries, lost time injuries, and even fatalities.

The Campbell Institute proposes a revised safety triangle where incidents with SIF potential are represented as a slice of the original safety triangle. This subset of incidents with SIF potential is different. They have different root causes and contextual factors leading up to them. Here’s the revised triangle:

SIF Prevention

Provide Coaching and Training

The white paper includes steps for SIF prevention. One of them consists of educating your workforce.

There are many practices mentioned in the paper, some from research participants, that you can use at your own organization, including:

  • Introducing workers to the new safety triangle for SIF prevention.
  • Educating people on the new way of thinking about near misses and their relation to injuries and fatalities (i.e. not all near misses are the same, some have a SIF potential).
  • Training all employees in SIF prevention approaches and on tools to mitigate SIF risks.
  • Including SIF prevention as a topic in global safety day events or quarterly/monthly regional training events, and covering SIF prevention in safety training packages.
  • Incorporating SIF prevention terminology and tactics into existing tools and practices for constant reinforcement.
  • Providing additional executive, manager, and employee-specific training and awareness initiatives to explain:
    • The value of assessing potential risk.
    • The need to report all incidents no matter the actual outcome.
    • Roles and responsibilities of each person to support incident prevention.

In summary, be sure that workers understand that there is a new safety triangle, one with a subset (or slice) that includes events with SIF potential.

Our Safetips share safety tips or best practices that contribute to safety excellence. Visit Enablon Insights regularly for new Safetips!



Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

Content Thought Leader