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Catastrophic Incident Reduction

Catastrophic Incident Reduction

Catastrophic incidents are those that have result in multiple fatalities, major property damage, and environmental destruction.

Because catastrophic events are rare, it is easy for leaders to lose their sense of vulnerability. It takes a different kind of organization to develop leaders who, instead of asking “can it happen here?” ask “how can it happen here?”

Unfortunately, catastrophic incidents are abundant in high-risk industries like Manufacturing, Utilities, and Oil and Gas.

Manufacturing. The risks of serious injuries and fatalities in heavy manufacturing comes from forklifts and moving equipment, the lack of proper guarding, heavy objects, the potential for falls, and more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, injuries requiring medical treatment totaled 421,400 in 2019 for this sector; food manufacturing and fabricated metal products accounted for the majority of injuries that year.

Utilities. For utility workers, risks and fatalities tend to come from falls, fires, and contact with electrical power lines. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that recordable injury, illnesses, and fatalities cases totaled 12,000 in 2019 for this sector.

Oil and Gas. Oil and gas workers face risks such as vehicle accidents, explosions and fires, falls, confined spaces, and chemical exposures. Sadly, fatalities in this sector reached 127 in 2019. Recordable injury, illnesses, and fatalities cases totaled 6,200 in 2019

Some High Reliability Safety organizations (HROs) are very successful in avoiding catastrophic events, even in environments involving high-risk factors and complex operations. The HRO is typically defined as those that anticipate catastrophic exposure by implementing high-quality decision making and controls.

When thoroughly investigated, catastrophic incidents are generally found to have happened after early warning vulnerabilities were not recognized, or recognized but not acted upon. These vulnerabilities represented catastrophic exposures. If an organization is serious about reducing the potential for a catastrophic incident, they must embrace the following five disciplines: Anticipation, Questioning, Diligence, Resilience, and Learning.

How DEKRA Can Help

DEKRA offers a multi-faceted, science-based approach to catastrophic prevention and reduction. Using real data from real clients, DEKRA consultants have the tools at the working interface — the systems, the culture, the procedures, and the technologies — to help people make, not just make good decisions, but to want to make good decisions.

Relevant Resources

Below are a few relevant insights to help you in your journey to build a safer working world. Looking for additional topics? Contact us and we can send you information on any number of topics.