Triangle of Prevention

The Triangle of Prevention, or TOP, program requires a commitment from the local union and management to work together to find and address the hazards, unsafe conditions, and failed safety systems that cause workplace injury and illness. Both parties must agree that blaming workers for injuries does not improve safety and health, but instead ignores the evidence and underlying root causes of an incident. The program is structured by three elements consisting of union leadership at the foundation, the United Steelworkers (USW) Systems of Safety approach and incident investigation, and measuring and tracking incidents and near-misses. Together these elements build the Triangle of Prevention.

Union Leadership

Union leadership is the foundation of TOP. The program is led by a team composed of the TOP representative, representative alternate, local union president and the union’s safety chairperson. This team is selected by the local union members and works closely with the company representatives to build the site’s program.

Systems of Safety and Incident Investigation

TOP uses the USWTMC’s logic tree diagramming process to navigate to the root cause of an incident or near-miss. Incident and near-miss investigations are conducted by a labor-management TOP investigation team. Following the investigation, the group uses the USW Systems of Safety approach to control or mitigate the hazard.

Measuring Tracking Incidents and Near-Misses

A common view of health and safety is an injury-free workplace. Having zero worker injuries is a worthy goal, but creating a safe workplace requires much more. TOP encourages the use of leading and lagging indicators, such as tracking incidents and reporting near-misses to institute more comprehensive health and safety metrics.

For more information about TOP, contact Steve Doherty at 412-562-2561 or [email protected].