Safety is NOT a Choice

imageOne of the most worrying results of the Zero Survey ( is the number of people in safety who believe the meme: ‘safety is a choice you make’. Belief in such mythology has huge implications for how one approaches incidents, events and methods/training.

If you believe that safety is a choice then un-safety is also a choice based on the same logic ( ).

From this point forward anything unsafe has been chosen ie. people desire to be unsafe.

This is the same silly logic of the Bradley Curve ( that posits that people have a natural instinct for harm.

Such belief is simplistic, binary and creates a hot bed for blaming.

Therefore, when anything goes wrong such belief about choice, drives safety to look where the bad choice was made!

This deficit bias then colours any investigation.

Of course, the same silly logic is the foundation of comprehension in Useability Mapping ( ). Any professional teacher knows that comprehension is complex/wicked. Only behaviourist Safety thinks that learning is a process of data in and data out.

Of course, when it comes to belief in choice, the courts and legal profession believe the opposite to Safety. Those who are professional in the Law and Regulation know that risk is multi-layered, complex and paradoxical. For example: Professionals don’t believe in root cause ( ).

Simplistic black and white causal belief is fostered by this silly meme ‘safety is a choice you make’. And it’s NOT true.

Many investigations by Lawyers, the courts, Regulators and real professionals, find No cause, no blame, no choice.

People do not Chose to be unsafe. This belief flies in the face of all the scientific evidence on homeostasis (self-preservation) that is foundational to the notion of evolution.

All life forms demonstrate an energy, force and process of self-protection and self-preservation. Every emotion and feeling that responds unconsciously to threat, works against harm. Only Safety could believe the opposite!

Contrary to the fiction of the Bradley Curve, people do NOT seek harm, pain and suffering. The opposite is the case. Only Safety could make up such nonsense and believe it.

Harm, pain and suffering visits humans despite all we do to prevent it. This is the nature of living in risk with fallibility in a random world.

Safety is NOT a choice made. In life we chose to live. Only Safety mythology can believe that people choose harm, pain and suffering. And such belief is in denial of the very notion of accident.

The word ‘accident’ doesn’t make sense if one believes that safety is a choice!

I have also seen the silly meme: ‘safety is no accident’. Again, just more ‘dumb down’ fed to an uncritical industry that delights in blame and fixates on compliance. If this were not true, why are such memes so popular in this industry.

Imagine if school teachers ran on the meme: ‘failure is a choice you make’. Just think of the flow on to such a belief.

Why do we have insurance? Because we know that safety is NOT a choice. If you believe safety is a choice then there are no ‘accidents.

Only a group like DuPont could make up such silly nonsense memes and then contradict them over 40 years inflicting harm on thousands of people ( , then tell people to believe the impossible ( ).

The challenge then is why safety is attracted to such belief, to such silly memes. And my guess is that it is a bit like zero. Without critical thinking safety doesn’t know how to argue against binary nonsense. Perhaps this is why safety doesn’t want critical thinking in the curriculum? Because it enables the power of dumb down and zero.

There are of course other ways of considering choice and decision making and you can learn this by studying the free Introductory Course in SPoR ( Or,

Download the first book in the SPoR series on risk, Risk Makes Sense, Human Judgment and Decision Making ( Published 11 years ago and demonstrates that safety is NOT a choice you make.

The message of blame evident in this meme (safety is a choice you make or safety is no accident) is a negative message. The message and alternative in SPoR is a positive, constructive and practical message.

21. ROOT CAUSE from Human Dymensions on Vimeo.

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