What’s Funny About Safety?

  • Ha ha, you lost your best friend, how funny!
  • You got your leg cut off, ha ha!
  • You lost your job because you were not compliant! Ha ha!
  • You got sacked because of zero! Ha ha!
  • Ha ha, the safety cop is on the beat, watch out!

None of this is humorous or funny.

Laughing at misfortune, harm or death, is rarely funny. Safety is not funny! Any effort to make safety funny is just the same as all the silly efforts to make safety sexy. Just more desperation from Safety that doesn’t know what to do with its own toxic reputation.

When it comes to humour, what we most often laugh at is stupidity, ignorance and the dumb things that people do and speak.

No one laughs at un-safety, but there is plenty to laugh at about the stupidity of Safety. Here is a classic example from comedian Steve Hughes:

Comedy requires expertise like any profession. But one of the most laughable things about Safety is, it doesn’t know its own ignorance. Such ignorance is the best joke in town.

I get this all the time. Rob, I don’t know anything about social psychology, semiotics, poetics, hermeneutics, ritual, mythology, gesture, linguistics, semiosis, religion, culture or culture, but I know you are wrong! This is very funny. It’s laughable.

That’s why memes like the following are so funny! because they are so true. Real comedy is about exposing the stupidity about reality and this makes Safety laughable.

I was at my doctors the other day (because I was harmed by life, as we all are) and she and I were discussing things and I mentioned to her about the zero cult congress coming up in Sydney in November (https://safetyrisk.net/auditing-the-7-golden-rules-of-zero-a-miserable-fail/ ). Being a professional she was shocked. She had never seen anything so stupid and couldn’t believe it was true. So, I showed her a few examples and she was even further shocked? How could an industry be so stupid about life and fallibility? We both had a huge laugh; she wrote out a prescription and I went to the Chemist where I lined up with other harmed people to get my medicine.

Just look at the marketing for the zero congress approaching in November in Sydney and see how paperwork, mechanics, conveyor belts and objects are used to market expertise in mental health. It’s a joke. Everyone knows that the safety industry has no expertise in psychosocial health! (https://safetyrisk.net/what-is-psychological-safety-at-work/ ). Indeed, anything that calls psychosocial health a ‘hazard’ proves ignorance and stupidity (https://safetyrisk.net/what-is-psychosocial-safety/; https://safetyrisk.net/not-just-another-hazard/)

BTW, later that day after the doctors I had to go to a funeral. Maybe I should have told everyone at the funeral I believed in zero death! (https://safetyrisk.net/my-target-goal-is-zero-death/). Maybe we could have cracked a few jokes about death and dying and zero! What a laugh!

One of the best jokes about Safety is this bizarre quest for power over others and the delusion that Safety knows everything (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-cops-and-safetys-adoration-of-power/ ).

How funny, the moment something goes wrong, we never call Safety, we call a lawyer, a counsellor, psychologist, a doctor or clergy. We call a professional. When something goes wrong, we have no interest in a poorly educated agent of ignorance who believes in the denial of fallibility. Indeed, zero is the best joke in town!

Then if you criticise Safety, it still doesn’t learn, it doubles down even more deeply into its stupidity, eg. these silly safety cop memes are a classic example of anti-learning: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/stephen-harvey1888_top-of-the-safety-cops-2-activity-7103127332499968000-Gv24?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_ios

These memes are a classic semiotic endorsement about everything that is toxic about safety.

But unfortunately, there are many examples of clowns who think that sanctioning and endorsing the stupidity of Safety is fun?

  • Since when is policing people fun?
  • Since when is injury fun?
  • Since when is paperwork fun?
  • Who wants to endorse safety advisors as cops?

And, it’s so easy to provoke safety into deep stupidity

Just apply any critical thought to nonsense and rather than embrace learning, safety goes more deeply down the rabbit hole of ignorance. I know let’s learn about culture by asking a chemical engineer! This is laughable! This is a joke!

Is this how Safety approaches a barrister or surgeon when they need expertise? When they need a professional? Why is it that Safety thinks it knows Anthropology, Medicine, Culture, Ethics and a host of disciplines in which it shows no interest?

Then the real fun starts when Zero-Safety parades its ignorance to its own cult as if it has some expertise in tackling risk. Luckily, real professionals like my doctor, don’t have to deal with the nonsense of the cult. Luckily Safety is the industry that mostly keeps to itself. When it does confront others with ignorance, real professionals are shocked at its toxicity.

But this is what gets dished up by Safety on a daily basis. The parading of ignorance and incompetence as expertise. If you want to know about learning as Safety! If you want to know about Ethics ask Safety! If you want to know about Suffering ask Safety! If you want to know about Social Psychology ask safety!

This is why Safety doesn’t want to learn, doesn’t know how to listen, never asks questions and glories and parades ignorance to the accolades of the zero cult.

I can just see it now, Safety approaching an engineer for marriage counselling. Or approaching a mechanic on culture! Or better still, seeking advice from a safety engineer on psychosocial health.

It’s laughable.

This is where the real laughs are.

It’s embarrassing. It’s fraudulence (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-fraudulence/ ). It’s the height of ignorance. And, it won’t stop because it is all endorsed by the associations and a curriculum that maintains head-in-the-sand safety. Just look at the curriculum in safety, it’s a joke. Just look at the many silences in safety (https://safetyrisk.net/category/safety-culture-silences/ ), what a joke!

However, if you do want to find a positive and intelligent alternative in disciplines outside of safety and see the world differently, you can come to the SPoR Convention in Canberra in September (https://spor.com.au/september-canberra-workshop/). Here, you can learn how to tackle risk in an intelligent, practical, constructive and positive way that works (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/it-works-a-new-approach-to-risk-and-safety-book-for-free-download/ ). Here we have plenty of laughs about how the real world works and the wicked problem of fallibility.


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