Accidents from the perspective of the awareness of the existence of the creative spirit 

A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved

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There are two kinds of accidents/incidents. The first kind are the accidents/incident that repeat the mistakes of the past. Then there are new and novel ways to have an incident or accident. Sometimes these new ways can be readily anticipated by looking at inevitable sequences of events. Sometimes they cannot. But there are precursors to all incidents/accidents.

Standards, rule regulations, orders or whatever attempt to prevent the mistakes of the past. They are written to create a "safety boundary" such that if we comply with the documents, we will have safe operations based on the past lessons learned. Or, in reality, it is better said, we will not have accidents or incidents repeating the way we had them in the past. Compliance with these "safety boundary" documents if properly developed and used, can prevent the mistakes of the past from being repeated. However, not of these methods will prevent a new and novel way of having an accident or incident. If we are going to prevent the new and novel accident and/or incident, someone must be looking beyond compliance. One must look for precursors. All new and novel incidents and accidents have precursors

What is a precursor? A precursor is something that proceeds or suggests a future course or event. Accident precursors are things that proceed or suggest a future course of events that lead to accidents, incidents and the like. They are identifiable. Accident precursors are usually recognizable as things out of the ordinary. They tend to lie in those events and happenings that are not quite right or slightly out of the norm. That is, something is not the way it should be.

In many ways it can be said an accident precursor is not a precursor unless you have an accident/incident. There are many things that lie outside the ordinary at any given time. Some lead to accidents, some donít. The things that lies outside the ordinary that lead to accidents tend to be seen as precursors. Those that donít lead to accidents are usually never looked at for what accident they can cause. But, we donít know which lead to accidents and which donít till after the accident. The question is do we want the accident to show us which were the precursors or do we want to fix with is outside of normal to prevent the accident from happening? Lessons learned of accident review says either fix the things that are out of the norm or evaluate that which is out of the norm to ensure it does not lead to unwanted events.

The question is whether or not one is aware (knowledgeable of the norm) and awake (paying attention) to what is happening to see that which is out of the norm. Alternatively said, we don't know what is wrong unless we know what is right. We will not recognize them if we donít know what is normal and we will not see them if we are not looking and paying attention to that at which we look. It is here we need the inquisitiveness and playfulness of our creative spirit to catch these precursors and why we need to nurture out creative spirit in the workplace. When our creative spirit is nurtured, we have are aware and awake to catch the precursors.

Pulling the string and developing lines of inquiry on things that "just donít look right" arise out of a curiosity and a playfulness characteristic of our creative spirit. Pulling the string can lead one to accident precursors. Catching the precursors can prevent more serious accidents and incidents. What we prevent from happening is not always known and often there is no real need to find out exact what may have happened for it may be too painful to contemplate.

Also what needs to be noted is that in any given accident there are usually multiple things normally go wrong. Since there is more than one thing which goes wrong to create an accident, any one of which could have prevented the accident if it didnít go wrong. As such, there are more than one precursor. Often finding any one of he precursors and correct it can prevent a any given accident/incident.

It is here the long term impact of failure to nurture the creative spirit can become evident. When the creative spirit is not nurture, there is no inquisitiveness and interest in look for that which is out of the norm. There is no energy or desire to do anything but the minimum. There is no ability or interest to respond to the off normal. Rather, individuals try and get by with the minimum of exertion of energy. Anything that looks or sounds like extra work is avoided. It is only a nurtured creative spirit that has the passion and the energy to create more work for itself. But is doesnít see what it creates as more work It sees it more as answering its own curiosity as to why things are out of normal.

The topics, "Walking the Spaces" and "A list of lessons learned" available in the Password Protected area provides some guidance as to finding precursors in the workplace.

Related topics
Three principles for safety, quality and satisfaction in life

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