The first step in building a strong culture of safety and health is having a common understanding of the words and what they mean.

  • Safety: Relative freedom from danger, risk, or threat of harm, injury, or loss to personnel and/or property, whether caused deliberately or by accident
  • Health: Soundness of body or mind; freedom from disease or ailment
  • Risk: A potential future action or event that could significantly impact – positively or negatively – the key objectives of an organization

    Both safety and health involved freedom from something bad happening, such as danger or disease. The chance of a negative outcome introduces the idea of risk. Protecting against total freedom from harm is not possible. As an organization, how much harm are you willing to chance? People bring different risk tolerances and perspectives of safety and health to conversations about how to protect against harm. Engage your nonprofit’s board, leadership team, staff, and larger community around these ideas in order to understand different perspectives towards creating a common language and increased awareness.

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