This meme (See Figure 1. Male and Female Safety) was circulated into my feed yesterday and it makes a great point. More women die in domestic violence in Australia than people killed in workplace accidents. Yet, the key definition of safety and the value of safety (https://safetyrisk.net/you-can-fool-someone-some-of-the-time-but-you-can-fool-safety-all-of-the-time/ ) is defined by injury rates, LTIs, MTIs, TRIFR rates, economic value and ‘reputation’.
Figure 1. Male and Female Safety
The elephant in the room for Safety is proportionality.
How strange this industry of zero harm that seeks greater harm by its venture into psychosocial ‘hazards’! (https://safetyrisk.net/what-is-psychosocial-safety/). How strange this industry with no expertise, experience and knowledge in culture, mental health and psychosocial risk that seeks to parade its ignorance as ‘thought leadership’ for all to see. How strange this industry that dishes out abuse to people in the name of zero! How strange to meter out brutalism to people in the name of good! How odd to parade an engineer as a ‘thought leader’ in psychosocial and cultural matters!
Of course, any harm in psychosocial health cannot be counted nor measured. This is why Safety uses the language of ‘hazard’ to describe it.
No professional would ever use such language to describe the mental health of a person.
Yet, this is what Safety does.
The reason why Safety (as an Archetype) focuses so much on ‘petty pissy risk’ is because its ideology is framed by zero and unsafety is defined by critical thinking of safety. My goodness, make no ‘disparaging’ comments about Safety. Only back-slapping praise is wanted.
When your mantra and ideology is zero, the natural trajectory has to be ‘petty pissy risk’, under-reporting and anxiety about physical injury.
Of course, psychosocial harm can only be known through listening, counselling, caring and helping, things in which Safety has no interest.
Have a look at the INSHPO The Occupational Health and Safety Professional Capability Framework A Global Framework for Practice (Singapore Accord) and there is no mention of an ethic of care and helping as an identify for being a safety person. This is the same gathering that invoked zero as the global mantra and ideology for safety (https://safetyrisk.net/no-evidence-for-the-religion-of-zero/). This is the same mob that pushes out nonsense videos (https://visionzero.global/videos ) like In the Blink of an Eye, The Spirit of Safety (https://safetyrisk.net/the-spirit-of-zero/).
Zero ensures that the world of safety is small. Zero ensures that this industry focuses on brutalism and ‘petty pissy safety’.
· This is why Safety is so poorly equipped to enter or understand the complexities of psychosocial health.
· This is why Safety is completely delusional when it assumes that psychosocial and mental health is a ‘hazard’ (https://safetyrisk.net/not-just-another-hazard/) that can be fixed by the ‘hierarchy of control’.
· This is how Safety creates more harm than it solves (https://safetyrisk.net/the-language-of-hazards-and-psychosocial-mental-health/).
Unless Safety is prepared to listen to critical thinking outside of its small mono-disciplinary worldview and un-learn much of the nonsense it projects as ‘thought leadership’, it will never understand the importance of a meme as demonstrated at the start of this blog.
Similarly, Safety promotes dysfunctional semiotics like is observed in the Worksafe Victoria site on Gendered Violence (https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/it-comes-in-many-forms). Safety will never understand gendered violence when this kind of semiotic dominates its thinking. Indeed, such semiotics promote violence. Safety will never get Psychosocial risk when it understands gendered violence like this. What utter nonsense.
When your safety world is so small all that results is bunkering down, fortress building and closed-mindedness to risk.
Of course, there are alternatives if one is interested in listening, learning, helping and caring.
SPoR offers many practical, positive and constructive alternatives and methods (for free) to the Zero=Safety small world, for those who seek to engage with an attitude of learning.
If you are interested in learning about SPoR Dr Long will be running workshops: