The first is risk assessment. In the mid-‘90s, when I was part of the National Safety Council’s Institute for Safety through Design (now “sunset”), risk assessment was more of a concept and vision than a reality for most organizations in the U.S. If you accept that significant change is slow, then you might agree that 10 years is just the “blink of an eye” in the overall scheme of on-going change. In this case, risk assessment has definitely moved to the mainstream in just a couple blinks of the eye.
ASSE’s new Risk Assessment Institute promises to move risk assessment to the front burner for safety professionals and business leaders. If you are not up to speed on using a risk assessment methodology appropriate to your needs, this blog is a heads-up to get to the front of this train.
The other issue that is gestating more slowly is sustainability. Often referred to as the triple bottom line of balancing economic, social and environmental impacts, sustainability is a major force coming from top down. Numerous boards of directors are using this model to promote the long-term sustainable success of organizations. In the investment world, the concept of investing in organizations that combine environment, social and governance (ESG) with profits is gaining traction.
The Center for Health and Safety Sustainability continues to work on making safety more visible in the sustainability global strategy. I encourage all safety pros to be familiar with the work of CHCS. If your organization is not yet engaged with sustainability and/or its companion efforts, Social Responsibility/ESG, it’s a good bet that it will at some point in the future.
If and when an “emerging issue” becomes front and center at your organization, make sure you have concrete recommendations on how to merge safety into the larger strategy.