The Vision Zero Movement aims to bring every stakeholder – employers, workers, unions and the government – on board to embrace the mindset that all injuries and ill health at work can be prevented, and that zero harm is possible.
Start with a strong WSH culture, stop fault finding, and focus on finding solutions to prevent injuries and ill health to improve the quality of our lives.
Six Steps of the Vision Zero Journey
Step 1: Make a commitment
WSH should be a core value in a company and the senior management must lead in fostering a positive and conducive work environment for Vision Zero. Leaders set the tone for the safety and health culture of the company and play an influential role in raising WSH capabilities of the workforce. They must send clear signals that they are committed to bring their workers home safe and healthy. They can also influence their contractors to be committed to do so.
Step 2: Set a goal
Setting a goal is crucial in helping management remain focused on their commitment. Goals can be as broad as zero fatalities or zero injuries, or as specific as reducing workplace injuries by 20% in two years. Management must allocate sufficient resources to establish effective WSH management systems and processes to achieve the goals.
Step 3: Communicate the goal
Management must communicate their targets to their workers and contractors so that they are all aligned to the goals. They need to engage their workers and other stakeholders and establish initiatives to allow all workers to participate. For instance, they can organise briefing sessions or forums, and walk the ground to show that they understand and are committed to the target. Besides communicating the goal at the start of the Vision Zero journey, it is equally important to communicate the WSH challenges, solutions, reviews and progress throughout the Vision Zero journey.
Step 4: Identify WSH challenges
Every industry and every company have their unique WSH challenges. For instance, companies in hospitality and entertainment industries may find Slips, Trips and Falls (STF) to be the major WSH issue while construction companies may find Falls from Heights the main concern. It is important that each industry and company identify the key WSH challenges and determine the risks and hazards holistically, as individual risk factors may have an impact on one another. Companies may also need to set specific targets on when and how to meet the WSH challenges so that their goals can be achieved.
Step 5: Find solutions
Where possible, companies should eliminate risks and only look into measures to control the risks if elimination is not possible. Depending on the key WSH issue identified, companies can find the corresponding solution to tackle the issue. For example, if a restaurant has identified slippery floors in kitchens which may result in STF as a main WSH issue, it may wish to put in place processes to ensure that floors are kept clean and dry.
Step 6: Review and monitor progress
Reviewing and monitoring progress is key to ensuring that goals and specific targets remain relevant. This step will also help to ensure that companies are on track to achieve the goals that they have set in the first place.