Let’s Reset the Last Reset that Reset the Reset
We saw this with the second to last reset the Brady Review which was nothing new and more of the same. It’s pretty simple, if you don’t want safety to change make sure you call an engineer to conduct a review. If you don’t want the safety curriculum or culture to change, call in an engineer to do a review (https://myosh.com/blog/2019/03/07/sia-overview-of-bolands-final-whs-laws-report/ ), that way you will get more of the same.
When you measure the success of safety by injury rates under the ideology of zero, you are heading for a flogging. A reset to more of the same.
I have wrote about resets a few years ago (https://safetyrisk.net/what-is-a-safety-reset/; https://safetyrisk.net/when-things-go-wrong-lets-do-more-of-the-same/ ) which demonstrates that this habituation of resets is evidence of a closed industry that cannot learn.
Yet, Queensland is having yet another ‘reset’ (https://www.quarrymagazine.com/2021/09/15/queensland-resets-to-improve-site-safety/ ). Yes, the state that still runs a zero harm in leadership workshop (http://timberqueensland.com.au/Docs/News%20and%20Events/News/Greg-Lauman-pres.pdf ). Must be an effective program because every reset affirms that zero harm doesn’t work and debilitates any hope of leadership! More so, zero harm ideology makes culture worse. There can never be any safety improvement under the ideology of zero. No wonder they keep announcing and counting resets.
Let’s keep doing the same thing over and over, hoping something will change.
Then this comment: ‘One week into September, 43 resets had been completed, and the Queensland Minister for Resources Scott Stewart said it was an essential practice to snap out of any bad habits’.
Yep folks there it is, the counting of resets is a measure of effectiveness. How interesting that Safety now counts effectiveness by the number of resets it sets. You couldn’t make this up.
Last time this journal (Quarry Magazine) discussed a reset (https://www.quarrymagazine.com/2020/02/16/report-shines-new-light-on-queensland-site-fatalities/ ) it suggested that a reset was about ‘breaking the cycle’. That was 2019 and the cycle is repeating.
Safety will never break the cycle until it moves away from zero so that safety can improve (https://safetyrisk.net/moving-away-from-zero-so-that-safety-improves/ ). You cannot underestimate the power and influence of this ideology (https://safetyrisk.net/how-can-the-ideology-of-zero-be-ethical/; https://safetyrisk.net/the-ideology-of-zero-harm/; https://safetyrisk.net/zero-as-a-semiotic/) that chokes the industry so that nothing will change. When this ideology is made a spiritual force for perfection (https://safetyrisk.net/the-spirit-of-zero/ ) you should know the industry is completely off with the fairies.
Ah yes, the state where you can study zero harm leadership so that leadership cannot be exercised. This from an industry that doesn’t understand the nature of habituation and assumes that habituation/culture is about behaviours (https://safetyrisk.net/the-purpose-of-routines-habits-and-heuristics-checking-your-gut/; https://safetyrisk.net/ritual-as-embodied-learning-in-safety/ ).
Similarly, the industry has such a poor idea about culture, doesn’t define culture and yet speaks of it constantly. You can’t change something you don’t understand, so back to the eternal return (http://parrhesiajournal.org/parrhesia10/parrhesia10_malabou.pdf ).
Set a reset, back to zero.
This Quarry article even quotes the Brady Report of 2019 which was the second to last reset. Then out it trots the old gems of Reason, Hudson and more safety orthodoxy, demonstrating again that a reset means doing more of the same. What a classic comment from the article: ‘For this reason, the theme is Chronic unease: Improving safety culture through better hazard and incident reporting’. Hazards and incident reporting are not cultural indicators!
Of course, we saw what an Engineering Dreamworld manifests (https://safetyrisk.net/an-engineering-dreamworld/ ). More of the same.
If there was a genuine approach to a reset evoked by Safety the following would have to be considered: WHS curriculum change, drop the engineering-only focus, address the problem of ethics, introduce critical thinking in curriculum, embrace transdisciplinary approaches to risk and start listening to voices outside of the safety fortress.