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I want to begin with a simple quote from Dr. W. Deming so that you understand my philosophy. He is known as an innovative thinker and is attributed to Japan's success in the electronics and automotive industries after World War II.  Dr. Deming emphasized the importance of measuring and testing to predict typical results.  "You can expect what you inspect." If a phase consists of inputs + process + outputs, all 3 are inspected to some extent. Problems with inputs are a major source of trouble, but the process using those inputs can also have problems. By inspecting the inputs and the process more, the outputs can be better predicted, and inspected less. Rather than use mass inspection of every output product, the output can be statistically sampled in a cause-effect relationship through the process." In essence, he states that if you don't address the inputs and the process, you will require a quality manager to address all of the defects!

The same concepts apply to safety. If more time is spent identifying the inputs (behaviors and conditions) and process (management and operational systems) then the outputs (injuries) will be reduced. Otherwise, you will require a Safety Manager to be reactive in addressing the injuries that do occur.

Now, a good friend once told me that inspections alone won't get you to world class. Initially I opposed his view (quite vehemently) but his wisdom was spot on.  Dr. Deming also is quoted as saying "Quality comes not from inspection but from improvement in the process." Inspections alone aren't enough - acting on the data provided to effect change positively and proactively such that the causal factors are addressed and the process is improved is what is required to see a reduction in accidents.

I wish to close this welcoming address with another quote that relates to my belief that continuous improvement can be achieved by reacting proactively to the measurement of inputs and processes. This quote comes from Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe in their book Managing the Unexpected. "Error is pervasive… What is not pervasive are well-developed skills to detect and contain these errors in their early stages".



Cary Usrey

Written by Cary Usrey

Cary Usrey has been at Predictive Solutions since March 2007. As a Process Improvement Leader, Cary is responsible for implementing best practices for customers seeking to prevent worker injuries. He coaches customers through an assessment, goal-setting, and goal measurement process that is designed to maximize safety improvement and widespread organizational engagement, from the field to leadership. Cary started his career in the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Power Program. After leaving the Navy, he served as the Environmental, Health and Safety Compliance Director at Adirondack Resource Recovery Associates, a waste-to-energy power plant in upstate New York, where he was employed for over twelve years. Following this, Cary took a position with Turner Construction, where he served as the Business Unit Safety Director for the upstate New York office for approximately three years. Cary has graduated with his Associate's Degree in Occupational Safety and Health from Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado, is a member of the Central FL chapter of the ASSE, and has served on the Board of Directors for the VPPPA (Region II).

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