Safety Cops and Safety’s Adoration of Power

I was sent a post yesterday with an apparent attempt at humour by a supposed safety professional. It was a pdf with the title of ‘Top of the Safety Cops’ and obviously trying to play some comparison to the idea of ‘top of the pops’.

I won’t give this any value because any reinforcement of such a stupid amateurish message is the last thing that should be encouraged in safety. Safety has enough problems with zero and the brutalisation of people without sanctioning safety as a policing process.

What is it about safety that loves the adoration of being a Cop? What is this quest for power by Safety? Why does Safety want to be so unprofessional?

Of course, Safety has no expertise or training in policing, no expertise in semiotics nor, any expertise or training in investigation. This is why when something goes seriously wrong, the first person called is a legal professional who actually knows the law.

This silly presentation on Safety cops reinforced the role that safety is about:

  • Rule breaking
  • Aggression
  • Licensing
  • Injury rates
  • Obsession
  • Surveillance
  • PPE
  • Policing
  • Punishment
  • Interrogation
  • Golden rules (which we know are not golden)

What a damming list of qualities that we know should NOT be the identity of safety.

The semiotics of all of this was amateurish, idiotic and sanctioned and endorsed every myth of safety – all packaged as leadership and learning. But this is what Safety is so good at, telling what it is by what it is not.

The thing that is really funny is, safety people trying to work in areas with which they have no expertise, no education and no qualifications. But this seems to be the safety way. (  )

This fraudulence is no more pronounced than this semiotic piece presented by Safety with no expertise in Semiotics or Poetics!

Every message of this post is the opposite of what we would want to as safety and then the end of this presentation was the question ‘who is your favourite safety cop?’

No-one in the workplace likes the safety cop. No-one in the workplace likes to be met with the list of qualities above and then asked, do you love me?

If any of this behaviour was displayed on a building site you would quickly get the name ‘safety wanker’ or worse and, everyone would avoid you. I have seen this so often in workplaces and it’s a sure recipe for safety ineffectiveness, safety irrelevance and the opposite of any idea of being professional.

Until Safety stops presenting itself in such amateurish, infantile, stupid messaging, it can never be professional.

Even the police wouldn’t put up anything as much rubbish as this. Indeed, in my jurisdiction the Police know that the only way they can be effective is through ‘community policing’ not through force. They know they can’t put a cop on every corner and need the community to collaborate and cooperate with them. Even the police know that ‘force’ alone is ineffective. This is NOT the image our Police project because they know it doesn’t work.

And as for the golden rule, we know that the golden rule is all about mutuality, reciprocation, collaboration, engagement and NOT policing ( There is nothing of this in this post. This post is all about the power hungry crusader hero who adores power over others.

Any promotion of the role of Safety as a cop is doomed to failure and irrelevance.

However, there is an alternative that is positive, constructive and practical that works ( and it doesn’t need any of this silly childish stuff that obviously demonstrates once again that Safety doesn’t know what to do.

In SPoR, we completely reject the notion of being a ‘cop’, which we know it doesn’t work. Instead, we build positive, practical and constructive approaches with clear methods that engage others, build connection, enhance relationships and facilitate ownership in tackling risk.

If you want to learn how to be professional in engaging others about risk you can do so soon at the SPoR International Convention in Canberra in September 18-21 ( ).

In these workshops we look at what works, dispose of safety myths and share what works to enhance skill development in tackling risk. Here you can join with International presenters in global organisations who are practicing SPoR methods in their workplace that don’t require policing no the brutalism of zero. Learn how to engage, build relationship, enhance ownership and facilitate real leadership and learning in risk.

If you want to register email here:


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.