More Safety Code to Disguise Behaviourism

imageIt’s always entertaining when Safety talks about what it believes in and it’s ‘values’ by omitting what it believes in and naming its values. Such is safety code (

Take for example this piece, clearly Behaviourist (SHP meets Bertrand Gibert) that discusses ‘purpose’, ‘faith’, ‘soft skills’ and ‘mission’ and never owns an ethic.

How did that nasty word ’faith’ slip out and we know that ‘soft skills’ are matched by ‘hard skills’. BTW, people skills are never ‘soft skills’.

But this statement takes the cake:

‘and acting in a safe way, where people think ‘being safe,’ before doing good.’

Just wow!

This is not just a dualism and illogical binary nonsense in ethics but an absurdity that separates ‘being safe’ as somehow hierarchically different (or better) than ‘doing good’!

You couldn’t make this st up.

This is what you get from an industry that can’t think critically ( ) and has no idea of ethics ( ).

This is what you get from Behaviourist gobbledygook that talks about safety performance as a ‘purpose’ and ‘mission’ that is somehow separate from ethics. It’s like saying BBS gets good safety outcomes and never discussing the people brutalised in the process. There can be no discussion of purpose or mission without a discussion of ethics.

And this:

‘A good safety ambassador is someone who walks the talk, whatever their job or seniority, and focuses more on the safety performance (day-to-day efforts) than the results (numbers).

The focus is of course on ‘performance’ not persons and there is no Discourse at all on helping, care, learning, listening, psychology of motivation or goals, culture or Socialitie. All of the language in this article is Behaviourism and performance, which of course nestles in well with the old favourite of measurement. At the same time speaking in code against injury rates then later endorsing injury rates.

Safety loves to talk about a ‘safety mindset’ as if we all know what this is. It talks about ‘culture’ as if we all know what this is. And then operates within its own binary assumptions (never discussed) and its love of numerics, metrics and injury rate discourse. In this article, it tries to negate injury rates and numerics and at the same time promote ‘injury peaks’ and ‘safety degradation’. This is what Safety code does and has no idea that it does it.

And this one:

‘I like to appoint safety ambassadors who speak the truth, even if the circumstances are painful’

Well, we all know what ‘the truth’ is in safety? Performance, controls, hazards and Behaviorism.

Is this the same deontological truth in ‘Natural Law’ and ‘self-evident scientific principles’ that that Heinrich talks about, you bet it is. Is this the same objective truth a safety crusader takes into an incident investigation? You bet it is. Such is the safety code for it’s pure thoughts untainted by fallible subjectivity ( ). Just do the right thing and check your gut! Breathtaking stuff.

Amazing how Safety throws about such language as if it has agreed meaning and objectivity.

It’s so easy to speak about ‘the truth’ in safety when you don’t articulate an ethic.

This is traditional safety at its best, perfect for any presentation at an EHS Congress. God bless professionalism and sanctify your TRIFR report. ‘Safety saves’ and ‘Born to Save’, such is the superiority that this ethic engenders.

This is what safety loves to do. It talks about ‘being driven by a purpose or a mission that feeds your needs and expectations helps create a safe environment’ in a code of traditional behaviourist discourse and never discusses the ethics of purpose, mission, needs and expectations.

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