The Safety Belief System

Beliefs in Safety are assumed not discussed. Beliefs like zero are projected but not up for question under the assumption that zero is the only acceptable target (

No-one questions the assumptions behind such statements or the assumption that setting numerical targets is the purpose of safety. This is how belief systems work.

Then when someone comes along and suggest that zero is immoral, unethical and harmful ( the messenger must be demonised because any contradiction to the belief system is non-compliant.

Belief systems ( are constructed over time and embedded by rituals, myths, semiotics in systems so that they are unquestioned. This is best represented semiotically as in Figure 1. The Shape of Belief.

Figure 1. The Shape of Belief.

Once a belief has been systematised through ritual and myth it is nearly impossible to remove it. The same applies to all religious belief/ideology.

If one doubts the religious nature of zero=safety then just read the first chapter of my latest book for free download ( The best denial of this reality comes from engineers who have no expertise in religious studies. Similarly, for an understanding of culture.

Belief cannot be avoided. Agnosticism and atheism are beliefs about belief. Similarly, faith in science is a commitment by faith (as many scientific beliefs are without evidence). Even the acceptance of the scientific method (; Similarly, for the myth of objectivity (

Safety beliefs are cultural indicators( ) just the myths, rituals, linguistics and religious beliefs of safety demonstrate its culture. The fact that belief in the impossible (zero) is the ‘mantra’ of safety ( really requires no more explanation to understand the culture of safety.

If you really want to know if a commentator in safety has any expertise in culture, just see if they have an understanding of any of the basics in anthropology (listed above). In Anthropology a study of culture starts with religion and belief, it doesn’t omit it or order that it not be not be talked about. Such is the cultural blindness evidenced in the many ‘safety silences’ about culture (

In this way Safety can preach about ‘safety awareness’ and have no clue what it means ( Safety can preach about ‘human error’ and ‘complacency’ thinking that such give explanation of how humans make decisions ( So, read a Safety book on ‘human error’ and see if it explains what it is? BTW, the words ‘fallibility’, ‘mortality’, ‘ethic’, ‘neurocognition/neuropsychology’ and ‘personhood’ appear nowhere.

This is no different than Safety speaking about ‘human factors’ meaning: humans as a factor in a system ( Human factors is not about humans or human ‘being’ (phenomenology) but rather code for ‘systems’. Similarly, whenever Safety speaks about culture, it is usually code for ‘systems’. And when Hopkins states that ‘structure creates culture’ ( you really know just how out of touch Safety is with an understanding of culture. None of this is statement of fact, it’s just more faith/belief projected by code to the believers in safety beliefs ( ).

A sure fired recipe to make $$$ in safety is to confirm safety beliefs.

How strange, because our zero survey ( demonstrates that 85% of people in safety don’t believe in it.

Just promise the impossible ( and Safety will but it. Especially when it is promoted by an organisation that killed thousands of people then tried to cover it up (

Why speak the truth in safety when a good delusion will do! (

Such is the culture of safety.

The trouble is, all belief systems hide an ethic.


And in the case of safety, this ensures Safety never speaks about it. The best way to give power to an ideology is to not discuss it.

The deontological ethic that dominates Safety ( enables a religious belief system (based on Natural Law Ethics) that Safety denies yet preaches ( The best way to promote a culture of ignorance is to not talk about it ( ). None of this is questioned by a culture that doesn’t know how to critically question the very power that drives its ethic ( BTW, one way to work out if S2 is ‘different’ is to see what it says about ethics, personhood and power.

However, if you want to learn about ethics, belief, myth, ritual and faith in risk you can study here:

Once one has de-mythologised safety myths/beliefs, one is better situated to engage in methods in risk that actually work ( in a positive, constructive and practical way that humanise persons.


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