How many people believe that injuries happen mostly to the inexperienced or the incompetent? These same people often drive or walk around with their phones, or they skip the safety procedures because they are convinced that they'll be just fine. Meanwhile, the injuries keep happening. It's time to change the way we think about the occasional slips, oversights, attention lapses, forgotten steps, and misjudged risks that make us human ... but that place us in harm's way when we deny that they could ever happen to us. These ideas have been successfully pushed through the workplace culture in commercial aviation. Pilots today have a wide-open acceptance of the errors we all occasionally make, and they set themselves up to be in a safe place when they happen. This isn't a sign on the wall or another clever safety slogan. This is a way of thinking that can be infused into the attitude, everyday practice, and the professional pride of any employee.
Steve has much to say on the topics of foreseeable risk and effective warning. Our modern inventions are obsoleting our common sense notions about staying safe and creating new affordances for harm. They widen the gap between what scientists know that we are capable of doing safely and what people think they can do safely. A case in point: studies demonstrate that our driving is compromised when we try to divide our attention between phone and road. But each day, millions of drivers give it a try and "see for themselves" that it's mostly fine. Meanwhile, no one is examining the specious reasoning that leads to the risky behavior: reasoning that most anyone could be prompted to recognize in their own thinking. So design flaw arguments are met with claims about obvious risks and personal responsibility. Simplistic warnings are accepted as effective knowledge transfers from experts to consumers and workers. Worst of all, decisions based on these notions continue to set harmful precedent.