Anyone involved in safety is familiar with Heinrich’s Law: For every 330 incidents, there will be 300 with no injuries, 29 minor injuries and one major injury. While the accuracy of his theory is questioned, the principle seems sound enough — minor incidents lead to more serious ones.
Heinrich did his work in the 1930s using data from the ‘20s. That’s nearly a century ago, long before we had the power to crunch “big data” to reveal unseen patterns and trends. “In the last 20 years the number of injuries in the U.S. has steadily declined,” says Griffin Schultz, general manager of Predictive Solutions in Pittsburgh. “Fatalities and significant injuries have flatlined.”