By: Chad Ross, Manager, Industry Relations & Total Store Collaboration, FMI

The “founding father” of the concept of inherent safety, Dr. Trevor Kletz, a chemical engineer and process safety expert, said it best, “There's an old saying that if you think safety is expensive, try an accident. Accidents cost a lot of money. And, not only in damage to plant and in claims for injury, but also in the loss of the company's reputation.”

Like Dr. Kletz’s philosophy, FMI’s Risk and Safety Council knows hazardous spills or exposures impact more than just the front of the store, which is why it drives their work around risk management and safety issues.

Operational safety is a non-competitive issue. Because of this, FMI can facilitate conversations that allow Council members to engage in candid dialogue, bounce ideas off of each other, and work in partnership, not only with FMI, but also with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to better understand the ever-changing rules and regulations of having a safe and healthful workplace environment.

This past autumn, the Risk and Safety Council convened at Schnuck Markets for its inaugural summit. Here are some topics we covered:

  • Slips and Trips.
  • OSHA.
  • Hazardous Waste.
  • Claims Management.
  • Ergonomics.
  • Accountability.
  • Fleet Safety.
  • Electronic Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

Collectively, Risk and Safety Council summit attendees claim 428 years of experience and vowed to leverage their combined centuries-worth of knowledge to help assist each other in day-to-day operations. The Council’s ability to share openly and collaborate frequently around common problems confronting the retail industry allows for us to share new ideas on product and program results.

Dr. Kletz often remarked, “The best way to avoid an accident is to engineer the hazard out of the equation completely.”

We cannot stop accidents from happening in our stores or facilities, but what we can minimize the probability and leverage the 428 years of experience that the Risk and Safety Council brings to the industry.

To learn more about the Risk and Safety Council please reach out to Chad Ross at