Originally posted on February 15, 2021 @ 3:31 PM
The Measurement Mindset in Safety???
Most human living is NOT measurable. Most of the things that are important to fallible persons, are not only NOT measurable, they shouldn’t be. Any effort to measure qualitative values demonstrates a psychosis with measurement itself, and this demonstrates one attribute of ‘the safety mindset’. The idea of a mindset denotes a broad disposition or orientation, which is why the word ‘mind’ is used, not ‘brain’.
A mindset is a set of philosophical assumptions associated with the way someone is oriented towards the world (worldview/ideology). So, I was not surprised to see that Safety is proposing to measure ‘a safety mindset’, whatever that means?.
Of course, if you want to know what Safety is oriented towards just look at the safety curriculum, global zero discourse or AIHS Body of Knowledge and you have your answer. From the evidence one can conclude that the safety mindset is characterized by: the adoration of objects, counting, dehumanizing, blaming, punishment, control, regulation, excessive paperwork, petty pissy risk and brutalism. The language one doesn’t hear in safety is: helping, care, ethics or personhood. So, the safety mindset is the last thing I would want on a worksite. Even then, you can know such a mindset is present, but it can’t be measured.
The last thing we need in the workplace is the mindlessness of dumb down safety. The last thing needed in the workplace is some safety crusader fixated on zero and the discourse of regulation. The last thing we need is waffle language about clear and focused minds, methodical attitudes and associated measures.
Anything that is qualitative is NOT measurable, neither should it be. This is why Safety needs to get a grip of Poetics (https://safetyrisk.net/a-poetics-of-safety/).
The Poetic world is a world of: art, dance, music, poetry, song, metaphysics, emotions and aesthetics that we turn to whenever we are confronted with significant experiences of human living. Despite all the knowledge we might have about life, we still turn to a song to express love, poetry for suffering and harm and, metaphysics to explain the mysteries and awesome experiences we all share. The last thing people turn to in the face of mystery or harm is science. Oh but not Safety, for Safety its always a number (https://safetyrisk.net/its-always-a-number/).
This recent proposal to ‘scientifically’ measure mindsets is evidence itself of the safety mindset. The last person I would ever want on my team in any organization is someone with such a safety fixation.
Even when Safety thinks it is saying something ‘different’ is uses quantitative linguistics to explain itself (https://safetyrisk.net/linguistics-and-risk/ ). When your global mantra for safety is zero, then the answer to every question is a number.