One of the skills that takes a significant amount of time to develop and hone, is the skill of drawing correlations. Simply put it is the art and science of putting data, observations, gut feelings and expertise altogether, to arrive at a conclusion about a safety or health issue or challenge we are facing.
While the context of this post relates to workplace health and safety, many of the principles can be applied broadly to our personal lives and situations.
In my safety practice, I often see situations where a hazard or risk is overlooked simply because there is no “hard data” to warrant fixing or correcting the issue at hand. This most often occurs with exposures to chemicals and substances, where sometimes there are no legal exposure limits or the legal limits are outdated.
Following are some items to consider when connecting the DOTS:
D for Data- What does the data show? Is the data reliable? Do you have enough or the correct data points to draw a conclusion? What if I do nothing, what is the worst thing that could happen?
O for Observations– What are your observations and how do they correlate with the data?
T for Trends– Is this something that is typical to the operation, or to one’s lifestyle? Are there trends in behavior, operations, etc.?
S for Safety– Safety is not common sense. Building a culture of safety takes work, knowledge and expertise. It is also not just something we do in our workplace but should be a part of our everyday lives.
Consider how you can connect your Safety DOTS today!