What is a Safety Reset?

Originally posted on August 3, 2019 @ 5:58 AM

safety resetAfter four fatalities in a short period of time in the ACT in 2011 the regulator launched an inquiry into safety into the building and construction industry.  This resulted in the Getting Them Home Safely Report  in which I made a significant contribution (including diagnostics workshop at the safety summit) especially in the area of culture, risk and leadership. In many ways this bears strong similarities to the current Queensland ‘safety reset’.

Of course, after the release of the ACT report all recommendations regarding culture, risk and leadership were NOT implemented. Instead, selective items were undertaking including the addition of more audits, inspectors and bureaucracy in safety. This is what a ‘safety reset’ meant in the ACT. More of the same, with a dash of guilt, retraining in the same, language the same, process the same, discourse the same and regime of thinking the same (https://safetyrisk.net/when-things-go-wrong-lets-do-more-of-the-same/).

I read with interest an article put out by Mining Safetowork magazine recently (https://safetowork.com.au/bma-gets-on-front-foot-with-qld-safety-reset/) and the indicators are clear that a ‘safety reset’ doesn’t involve anything new. So let’s run a race and when we get to the end, let’s not find a new track or course to travel but rather let’s go back to the start and run the same race again. Brilliant!

Have a read of this article. No new language, same old injury data thinking, rehash standards, increase audits, life-saving controls, regurgitated complacency discussion (with no idea what that means), safety briefings, safety summit and stop work conversations. Now there is some vision for you. No discussion about culture, no venture into the known unknowns, rope in the same engineering mindset to the same repeated problem and attribute value to when the stats go down. Then wait a few years and when the data hits a spike, do it all again. Brilliant!

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