As consumers, do we understand what is safety? Senseless safety slogans such as “be careful,” “drive safely,” or “safety is common sense” have become the safety philosophy of the United States.
Why are the slogans senseless? Because safety is a sophisticated science that analyzes hazards (unsafe physical conditions that can cause injury), risk (probability of an undesired result occurring), and safety alternatives to prevent hazards; thus, eliminating or minimizing the risk of serious injury and/or death.
As defined by Military Standard 882 safety is “Freedom from those conditions that can cause death to personnel, damage to or loss of equipment or property.”
Consider what 99.9 percent safety in the United States would mean:
- 1 hour of unsafe drinking water per day
- 12 babies given to the wrong parents each day
- 2 unsafe landings at O’Hare Airport per day
- 291 incorrect pacemaker operations per year
- 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions per year
- 107 incorrect medical procedures performed daily
- 268,500 defective tires shipped per year
- 500 incorrect surgical operations performed each week
- 19,000 newborn babies dropped at birth by doctors each year
Though only 0.1 percent, seeing the numbers may make you think twice about accepting 99.9 percent safety.
The purpose of this blog is to educate and inform consumers such as yourself about hazards, risks, and safety engineering alternatives that exist and may help eliminate more unsafe instances. Keep connected for topics that may affect or be of interest to you.