Safety For the Common Good

imageBeneficence (the state of helping to do common good) is one of the core values in most professional codes of ethics. (Please note, a code of ethics is neither a moral philosophy or an ethic).

We see the language of beneficence in all the helping professions except safety, which doesn’t identify as a ‘helping’ profession.

There is no mention of beneficence in the AIHS BoK Chapter on Ethics, neither is there anything in the chapter on an ethic of helping, care or personhood. These three are essential in beneficence, if one is to identify as professional. Beneficence is understood as the professional’s moral imperative ( How fascinating it gets no mention in safety with regard to ethics.

The focus of beneficence is the common good.

The focus of the common good is allocentrism ( which identifies the fundamental Socialitie of human ‘being’.

There is however, one mention in the AIHS BoK Chapter on Ethics on the ‘common good’ (p.40) and it rightly identifies the common good as essential to being professional. Unfortunately, apart from this single mention there is no further discussion on the common good as an essential characteristic of professionalism.

We do however, see an emphasis in the WHS Act and Regulation on the common good. The principle of mutuality is common in the Act and Regulation that emphasises ‘shared’ responsibility and accountability. The Act and Regulation recognise that safety is a social act and articulates in many places the focus on the welfare and good of ALL workers.

Safety never starts with me, it starts with us (

The philosophy of Individualism has no place in safety. Egocentrism ( ) is the last thing anyone wants on a team. There is no ‘i’ in team.

The promotion of egos is antithetical to learning, just as the promotion of heroes is counterproductive to the common good.

Unfortunately, the symbolism of heroism in safety is endemic ( ). When one considers the common good there should be no talk of heroes, stars and gurus.

The key to listening and learning is Humble Enquiry (Schein). The AIHS Bok Chapter on Ethics has no mention of humility nor any discussion of servant leadership or service learning ( ).

The driving energy of SPoR is on Socialitie, the foundational social nature of human being. In SPoR there is no place for language about heroes, gurus, stars or ‘individual behaviours’. In SPoR, the focus is on the common good and beneficence, the foundation of professionalism.

If you want to learn about SPoR you can do the free Introductory Module here: or download any of the free books or videos available.

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