The Safety Scam –

It is no surprise that we learn this week about the effectiveness of scams ($481m in losses and 302,000 complaints: The scams hitting Australians hard)

The fundamental nature (immoral) of a scam is fraudulence. We also know scams as: ‘rackets’, ‘cons’, ‘swindle’, ‘hustle’, ‘fake’ and ‘rort’.

Scams always come masking something by what they are not, leaving the target of the scam with the need for sufficient critical thinking to see the scam. Many do not. One of the worst qualities one can have that enables scammers and scamming is fear of the negative and a naïve fixation on the positive. We find this disposition in some popular groups in safety. In these groups any criticism of safety is deemed anti-safety. This fixation on positive psychology is not just naive but dangerous. Unfortunately, in safety when it got concerned about deficit safety and injury counting, it didn’t make anything better by the swing the pendulum to the opposite. We see some of this fear of the negative in the S2 stuff.

We learn through this article that ‘job scams’ are the fastest growing scams. In this scam victims respond to fake ads and are conned to part with money as part of the application process.

Many of the scams use the icons of companies and banks and sophisticated web presentations asking for subscription updates or membership details.

Many get conned into investment scams. The rule here is quite simple, if someone is promising the impossible guess what, it’s impossible. When it’s too good to be true, guess what? It’s not true. The scam works best when it markets the naïve beliefs of people who think there is such a thing as ‘get rich quick’.

In this sense scammers are great at psychology, they know the disposition of people in general and target weaknesses and beliefs, offering outcomes that are impossible.

This is the scam that Safety runs most often indeed, even telling people, like they do at DuPont, to believe the impossible ( This, from the organisation that was knowing responsible for thousands of deaths and harm in the name of zero harm (

Global safety also believes and promotes the impossible (, the great scam of zero ( Wherever you see zero marketing in safety just look for the gobbledygook that surrounds it like: ‘beyond zero’, ‘toward zero’, ‘zero plus one’, ‘more than zero’ or ‘1% safer’. It’s all the same old stuff, marketing to what people want to believe, not what is real.

For a dose of reality, the safety industry needs to work out Real Risk ( Unfortunately, there is nothing in the safety curriculum on: critical thinking, discourse analysis, deconstruction, ethics, discernment or even the fundamentals of linguistics or semiotics ( Without skills in these areas the poorly educated industry is open to every safety scam on the planet. The only way to promise zero is by denying the most fundamental of human existence, fallibility ( Zero is the greatest scam in the history of safety.

Many of these safety scams promise great outcomes with slick marketing but actually have no method. Then the naive, seduced by slick rhetoric, war stories and promises, jump into the malaise only to find out later that there is no method and so have been conned by promises with no substance.

For those who want to know more about safety scams perhaps read this:

One of the best foils for tackling scams is transparency and no obligation. All scams work best because of what is hidden. Asking critical questions at the right time, seeking moral accountability and not being afraid of criticism, are essential.

In SPoR, we ensure that we are open and transparent in all we do. We publish about what we do in all our books that are also available for free download ( Whenever we offer criticism, it is always accompanied by positive, constructive and practical alternatives ( SPoR makes no promises about goals and targets but just offers methods that work ( in the process of tackling risk. In SPoR, we move away from the trap of controlling hazards to the project of humanising persons in risk. In SPoR, the focus is on practical, positive skill development so that, reaching for safety includes helping, listening, caring and understanding.

For those who want to learn about SPoR there are two free courses always available (Free SPoR Intro; Free Due Diligence – and we also offer other free courses such as the Intro to SPoR Methods by Matt Thorne ( and the Semiotic Course about to commence (




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