When Safety Doesn’t Know, Just Make S*#t Up

When Safety Doesn’t Know, Just Make S*#t Up

I get crazy safety stuff posted to me daily and none of it is a surprise. When this mono-disciplinary industry gets to making sausages, it’s all fat and no meat.

For example: you will see in this blog, some slides from a presentation from a crane company in the USA that just had a fatality. Apparently people have accidents because ‘primal instincts’ drive decision making. See Figure 1. Primal Instincts (from slide presentation)

Figure 1. Primal Instincts


How predictable that when Safety doesn’t know what to do, it just makes stupid s*#t up.

Of course, how attractive to create simplistic binary fiction to explain how people make decisions. Goodness me, you wouldn’t want complexity to get in the way of a hot blaming narrative! How interesting to throw back to Freud and completely warp Freud’s narrative for one’s own simplistic safety purposes. So, is Safety going to also adopt other Freudian ideas?

We know that Freud understood the world through sexual energy, ‘eros’ being the root of erotica. We also know that this warped sexualized worldview of Freud was why Jung and Freud parted including, Freud’s deficit view of the human unconscious. This is Freud’s ‘sub-conscious’. For Freud, the ‘subconscious’ was always a deficit view and for Jung the ‘unconscious’ was both a positive and negative view. You will often read across the safety industry this use of the language of ‘subconscious’ demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of personhood, Jung and Freudian morality.

Whoever wrote this presentation in response to a crane fatality clearly has neither read Freud or understands Freud. Of course, safety wouldn’t want to let a bit of contextual intelligence get in the way of a binary attribution.

Freud did NOT understand the eros as an ‘internal primal drive’. He understood the eros as an external social drive. Similarly, Freud understood the Thanatos as a drive connected to an Oedipus complex in sexual attraction to the mother. Thanatos is NOT an internal primal masculinist drive. But hey, we reading ‘Safety speak’ in this presentation, any attribution will do with Safety as long as you get a simplistic binary outcome.

So, let’s have a look at another slide from this fatality presentation (see Figure 2. Thanatos Drive)

Figure 2. Thanatos Drive


How convenient to draw this simplistic binary drivel from Freud. None of this attribution to Freud is accurate and none of it is real. Freud’s understanding of eros, Thanatos, drives, the subconscious, ego, id, super-ego is way beyond the simplistic nonsense of this presentation.

Human judgment and decision making is a wicked problem involving and array of complex influences both cognitive (https://safetyrisk.net/20-cognitive-biases-that-affect-risk-decision-making/ ) neuropsychological (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-and-non-neuroscience/  ) and social (https://safetyrisk.net/mapping-social-influence-strategies/) that this simplistic presentation makes no mention.

But hey, when you have no ethic (https://safetyrisk.net/podcast-ethics-of-risk/ ), just make s#t up! Just check your gut (https://safetyrisk.net/the-aihs-bok-and-ethics-check-your-gut/ ) and make s#t up!

So here is another slide from this fatality presentation. See Figure 3. Eros Goes on Vacation

Figure 3. Eros Goes on Vacation


Here we see that eros and Thanatos have now been declared ‘groups’ and that this is ‘programmed in our primal DNA’. What concocted nonsense! Just imagine, the terrorist groups flew into the twin towers because of Thanatos! Do people not know this is ignorance on steroids?

Incidents and accidents are NOT caused by ‘primal drive’.

Fortunately, Psychology, Social Psychology and Neuropsychology have come a long way since the fanciful theoretics of Freud’s sexual fantasies. But hey, we haven’t finished with the presentation yet, there’s more.

Safety finishes this presentation with a cheesy smiling worker who knows how to resist Thantos and become an eros person!!!! See Figure 4. Be an Eros Person. Hmmm, does that mean more sex on site? Seriously!

Figure 4. Be an Eros Person.


Then look at the conclusion to this rubbish, full of sexist misogynist nonsense and fantasy comic nonsense about why accidents happen and what to do about it.

It is this kind of stuff paraded across safety that ensures that safety will remain an amateur industry. It is this kind of warped binary nonsense that ensures safety will never be professional.

If you actually want to better understand why incidents and accidents occur and what to do about it, perhaps start with an Introduction to the Social Psychology of Risk (https://cllr.com.au/product/an-introduction-to-the-social-psychology-of-risk-unit-1-free-online-module/ ). Or better still if you live in Melbourne or Adelaide study face to face with Matt and Andrew (https://safetyrisk.net/social-psychology-of-risk-introduction-workshop/ ).

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