Trevor Kletz – A lifetime spent saving lives

Kletz’ biggest challenge was to ensure such lessons were not forgotten – indeed this would become a mantra for the rest of his career. He wrote in his autobiography: “It is not sufficient to check that rules are being followed or people will stop following them as soon as attention decreases. We have to convince people they should be followed.”

Kletz used weekly briefings, where he challenged representatives from key departments to an open group discussion of an incident, to get people to actively think about safety issues.

Kletz points out that sadly, nearly every accident that happens has happened before. “Following an accident, I used to say to people who’ve had an accident ‘don’t write a report, I’ve got it on file already’,” he says.

Don’t ask, just do
Like most things he did, Kletz grasped the initiative without seeking permission or approval from superiors – not for starting the newsletter, nor for setting numerical safety targets, or indeed whether a particular type of equipment should be installed at a given facility…

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