Critical Sources of Harm Ignored by Safety=Zero

We heard today from Minister Rowland (Communications) about the extent and severity of online harm.

We are also nearing the ‘zero event’ congress that promises progressive, diverse and extensive coverage of issues critical to safety. This is where the promise is to ‘Grab your popcorn and be ready to be ‘wowed’! (p10) Really?

After you trawl through the program following the Invitation to Zero by Dr Mohammed Azman bin Aziz Mohammed (President, International Social Security Association) (p.7), have a look for anything on eSafety or violence against women. Of course, it’s not there.

Safety=Zero only really tackles the easy stuff. The stuff that can be counted and policed not the stuff that counts.

The last thing Safety has any interest in is the causes of harm. You will find no presentation in this congress on economic disadvantage as a cause of harm ( There is no discussion of Poverty as a cause of harm. And both poverty and economic disadvantage (and substance abuse), as contributing factors to the deaths of more than one woman per week in Australia. Let’s not talk about the crisis ( let’s just parade women as objects with an apologetic to PPE ( The last thing Safety wants is a feminist or care ethic (

There are so many silences in the Safety=Zero industry ( Indeed, too many to count. Such is the culture of denial in safety ( Such is the nature of selective harm in zero harm ideology (

The truth is, Safety really believes in zero harm ( Yet, the Archetype is sustained by its own power. Poor olde Safety doesn’t know how to get rid of it or what to replace it with!

The reality is, it is so easy to be silent on what doesn’t matter and noisy about what does matter. The trouble is Safety has it the other way around.

Of course, Safety doesn’t want to tackle the hard stuff like eSafety or Violence Against Women because it has no Ethic of Risk ( nor, any interest in ‘wicked problems’ because they deny zero. What safety loves most is lower order goals ( ), only what can be counted NOT what counts. This is why Zero Vision has no vision ( It never can have Vision because Zero can’t allow it. As long as Safety identifies as Zero there can never be vision. Safety much prefers delusion ( than reality. Safety would much prefer to believe in the impossible ( than to believe in what is possible or what works (

No, let’s keep to the safety basics: counting injury rates, policing regulation/hazards and promising 1% safer ( for any sucker who falls for the con.

Isn’t it funny how Safety becomes so concerned about Psychosocial Hazards ( but says so little about the brutalism metered out by hate speech, dis-information, online lies, victimisation, abuse, misogyny and exploitation. This is because the deontological ethic of safety ( only has a duty to safety (counting injury rates and policing hazards) not persons.

If you are interested in a positive, constructive and empowering Ethic in Risk then you can engage with SPoR where most of its Methods are free for download ( In SPoR, there is no fear of zero, no counting injury rates and no policing of hazards and regulation. When we stop doing this stuff, safety improves (


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