Comment 103009

By KevinLove (registered) | Posted July 05, 2014 at 13:36:18 in reply to Comment 103007

Although true, this is a product of a previous iteration of safety thinking, before the introduction of Sustainable Safety (“Duurzaam veilig” in Dutch) in 1997. There are five principles of Sustainable Safety that may be seen by following the link. For those who speak Dutch, there is a good description on Wikipedia, and the official website is here.

Perhaps the most important principle is that of mistake-proofing ("Vergevingsgezindheid"). Anyone who has ever worked in one of Hamilton's factories will recognize this principle, because it underlies the Ministry of Labour's approach to industrial safety. The goal is to mistake-proof against human error. Error that is due to human beings being distracted, tired, in a rush, impaired or experiencing human emotions such as anger or aggression.

In a factory it is unacceptable to have, for example, an exposed moving saw blade without a guard. If an employee is injured by such a blade, management cannot say, "We put up a warning sign and trained that employee about the danger. It is the employees fault!" On the contrary, the Ministry of Labour will say "You failed to put up a guard as a physical barrier to prevent the injury. It is management's fault."

The exact same approach is taken by the Dutch to road safety. Dangerous conflict must be designed and engineered out of the street infrastructure. As we see in Jodenbreestraat, this is done by removing cars from dangerous conflict with people. One example is removing the door zones of parked cars from bicycle traffic.

Comment edited by KevinLove on 2014-07-05 13:40:03

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