The Enemy of Safety – Humans

imageIn the good tradition of insane propositions from Safety sponsored by the Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS), we have the clanger for all seasons – Humans are a ‘hazard’.

Just think critically about this proposition (which Safety never does) and what this metaphor implies.

If humans are declared a hazard and the purpose of safety is to eliminate hazards, then humans must be eliminated.

This is the language of the proposition.

Of course, when it comes to understanding humans as ‘beings’, the best place to go is not an Anthropologist, not a Social Psychologist, not a Phenomenologist, but a lawyer.

And how do lawyers construct an ontology of human “being’? Apparently, humans are a hazard, and a legal hazard?

How on earth does such language make ethical sense? Why would anyone want to identify a human as a hazard which by implication makes persons objects.

Such language as we witness in this AIHS promo article has a unique history, most associated with eugenics (, with work of Joseph Goebbels and Vladimir Putin.

When humans are made the enemy then any form of genocide is justified.

When humans are the enemy as ‘hazard’ it is your responsibility indeed, ‘your duty’ to eliminate them.

Look anywhere across the safety industry and you will see the purpose of safety is to ‘eliminate’ hazards. Elimination is the pinnacle of the hierarchy of controls.

Most notably, this AIHS promotion is coupled to a so called ‘visions’ conference. This is of course has nothing to do with vision, such is safety code (, symbolised in the god of Safety – zero vision.

If one declares ‘humans as a hazard’ and is identified with such language, regardless of tokenistic disclaimers, one then has to question the organisation that considers even a discussion of such a phrase as somehow ethical.

Clearly the organisational body for ‘visions’ has no clue of ethics, no clue of moral value, no clue of linguistics, no clue of semiotics but plenty of naivety about anchoring a conference to such a nonsense proposition. What a delight to go to a conference where the opening plenary address is entitled ‘Humans as Hazards’, delivered by a lawyer.

The only complement to this plenary, would be a following plenary by an engineer entitled ‘humans as objects’.

How can anyone in safety think for a second that such a proposition evokes any value? Regardless of any following qualification, this statement is nothing more than the pure demonisation of persons as the enemy of safety.

The AIHS promo starts thus:

‘When it comes to assessing the role of people in OHS risks, only a handful of organisations genuinely assess the risk associated with ‘humans as the hazard’.

What a fascination to draw together ‘people in OHS risks’ and ‘people’ imagined as hazards. When your ideology is zero, then persons are made the enemy of zero.

No wonder the AIHS BoK on Ethics makes no mention of persons. A wonderful frame for a eugenic program that would be a delight for the ‘master race’ to invoke. After all, when safety is made the pure ideal against the enemy, the controllers of the idea (as master race) must eliminate the enemy of zero.

The whole promo is founded on the delusions of behaviourist ideology ( Behaviourism only thrives on the assumption that humans are hazards.

Now with a lawyer in tow, humans are obviously a legal hazard.

Another clanger in the promo:

‘Human behaviour has and will always present a risk to the health and safety of workers and others’

How interesting that Safety never talks about persons. When humans are made objects/hazards, it is always the language of ‘behaviours’ that is spoken in code as if a ‘person’ is not connected to such behaviour.

But this promo now makes this connection clear. Humans are hazards.

The AIHS promo concludes:

‘Like any hazard that has been identified, it is important that risk and recommended controls be continually monitored and reviewed’.

Wow, so we draw together humans into the mix as ‘any hazard’.

And what do we do Safety, with any hazard? As the article implores, we invoke the ‘hierarchy of control’ and the purpose of such a control? Elimination!

Well done, Safety. Well done AIHS. Keep this up and soon you will have the ‘Final Solution’.


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