Watch out for risk migration

by on May 13, 2015 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

Each year, as the weather heats up, one predictable tragedy focuses on parents’ forgetting babies in car seats. While those tragedies are outside the realm of a general-industry and construction safety blog, the infant car seats themselves are a perfect example of safety concept of risk migration.

The car seat is reversed and placed in the back seat, with the infant facing the rear of the car. This is indeed a safer position for the infant in case of a collision with another vehicle. It’s just more dangerous for the infant any other time, because the infant is hidden from the view of the driver. And as people drive, their brains tend to go on autopilot. It’s why you suddenly have driven home while thinking of other things.

So the risk migrates from the danger of an infant in a collision to an infant being left in a vehicle because the driver’s brain naturally goes on autopilot. And the list of individuals who have left their babies in vehicles runs the gamut – it can happen to anyone. Police officers. Rabbinical students. Doctors.

The key: Risk tends to move. In football, players didn’t want broken noses and lost teeth anymore, so face masks and helmets. As helmets got more and more sophisticated, players hit each other harder, thus concussions.

When workers are preparing their job-hazard analysis, or considering PPE, or otherwise looking to solve one set of safety problems, make sure they take a second look around for unintended consequences. It may take a few hours or a few days, but you may see the risk migrating somewhere else.

Click to View Comments

Leave a Reply


Request a Free Demo

We'd love to show you how this industry-leading training system can help you develop your team. Please fill out this quick form or give us a call at 877-792-2172 to schedule your one-on-one demo with a Rapid Learning Specialist.