Friday, January 22, 2010

Quantum Safety

I have neglected this Blog, so now I am back.

I have coined the term "Quantum Safety" to describe my view on safety.

I compare Safety to Quantum Physics. Quantum Physics is all about probability. QP states that any possibility can occur, although there are certain possibilities that are more likely to occur.

Based on this concept, if a worker is properly trained, doing his job correctly, with the correct tools and safety equipment, he will have an accident. So it is not "if," but "when."

This is supported by the mathematical discipline of statistics. If you do something enough times, you will experience every possible outcome. Example; what are the outcomes of flipping a coin? There are 3. Three? Yes, three. Heads, tails, and the side. Think the "The Twilight Zone" episode "A Penny for Your Thoughts."

"Mr. Hector B. Poole, resident of the Twilight Zone. Flip a coin and keep flipping it. What are the odds? Half the time it will come up heads, half the time tails. But in one freakish chance in a million, it'll land on its edge. Mr. Hector B. Poole, a bright human coin, on his way to the bank."

It may take you 100 years of flipping the coin, but it will eventually happen. The PROBABILITY of that occurring is very low. The PROBABILITY (based on a bell curve and other math that I will not go in to) can be expressed in terms of time. From the coin example, we could then express the probability of the coin landing on its side at least 100 years (I just made this number up for demonstration purposes).