Imagine going to your parent teacher evening and sitting down to discuss your child’s progress at the school and professional teacher describes your child’s challenges in school as a ‘hazard’. Imagine your child is having issues with bullying and is upset about it and approaches a teacher who describes your concerns as ‘a hazard’.
Imagine going to hospital and talking to a professional nurse about your health concerns and having those concerns described as ‘a hazard’.
Imagine approaching a professional counsellor in that same hospital and asking for help with community and psychological and social concerns and being met with the language that these are ‘a hazard’.
Imagine a professional youth worker describing young people in out-of-home care, in school refusal and in trouble with the police as ‘a hazard’.
Imagine approaching a lawyer for help with a relational issue for legal advice and having that issue and the complainant being described as ‘a hazard’.
Imagine consulting your doctor regarding a medical condition and that condition being described as a ‘hazard’.
What is it that professionals do and don’t do?
- Professionals don’t apply the word ‘hazard’ to persons or social conditions.
- Professionals know that language and discourse of objects applied to persons dehumanises them.
- Professionals know to use professional language.
- Professionals know how to respect persons and not to demonise their condition.
- Professionals accept that persons are fallible and work through issues of fallibility with compassion, understanding and beneficence (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/principle-beneficence/).
- Professionals don’t prioritise the need of objects and systems over persons.
- Professionals don’t objectify persons.
- Professionals are trained and understand ethics.
With the advent of the Standard ISO 43005 on Psychosocial ‘Hazards’ (https://safetyrisk.net/not-just-another-hazard/ ) and the Codes of Practice on Psychosocial ‘Hazards’ (https://safetyrisk.net/the-language-of-hazards-and-psychosocial-mental-health/ ), the safety industry has demonstrated that it isn’t professional and therefore not a profession.