I get sent so much each day by safety people who want me to criticise and make comment. Most often this is because they tell me they cannot or they will lose their job. This is the culture of safety that forbids criticism, makes dissent taboo and holds compliance as a sacred decree. This is the industry that brutalises its own people.
So many of the emails I receive are from people who suffer under the fear of Safety.
Safety is the Archetype (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-is-not-a-person-safety-as-an-archetype/) that serves as a persona for the culture of the safety industry (not a profession). Whenever I discuss this persona, I capitalise Safety. Whenever I discuss the activity of safety it is just lower-case safety. Despite making this clear in all my work, I still get safety people personally offended because I criticise the industry. This is despite the fact that I always offer an alternative that is constructive, positive and practical that works (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/it-works-a-new-approach-to-risk-and-safety-book-for-free-download/). But this is of no interest. If you criticise Safety, you criticise me.
How strange, when you are critical of Teaching, teachers don’t get upset. When you criticise the Law, Lawyers don’t get upset and if you criticise Medicine Doctors don’t get upset. Ah yes, but Safety is personal. If you criticise Safety, you criticise me! What a bizarre industry.
Sorry to tell you safety folks, you are NOT Safety!
You can call yourself ‘safety Sue’, ‘safety Sam’ or ‘safety Bill’ – such is just evidence of a mental health disorder.
Sadly, this is the kind of nonsense that Safety fosters.
So, the latest one I was sent yesterday was this incident report: https://www.marineregulations.news/hong-kong-issues-a-notice-after-a-fatal-accident-during-cargo-operations/
Someone dies and it’s their fault. How convenient, poor old stevedore ‘lacked safety awareness’. What a despicable, immoral and vile presentation. It couldn’t have anything to do with those in power, culture, supervision or a host of issues in the workplace. Nup! The poor stevedore didn’t wear PPE and failed to keep distance.
- This is the kind of ignorant simplistic binary stuff we expect of Safety.
- How neat and tidy to absolve oneself of any contribution to a fatality.
- How convenient to find blame in things one has absolutely no understanding (awareness).
Of course, when Safety talks about ‘lessons learned’ it has no idea of what learning is and no intention to learn anything.
When you concoct up this kind of rubbish you might as well read a fairy-tale.
Then comes the follow up, more training (indoctrination and brain-centrism), increased ‘safety awareness’ (of which Safety has no idea) and more audits and regulation. Perfect!
All of this is a recipe to ensure that nothing changes in safety and that Engineering and Behaviourism remain happy.
BTW, whenever Safety talks about ‘learning’ it’s never about learning. It is a truism to state that Safety never ‘learns’ from accidents.
And we always have the best commentators on learning, culture, anthropology, social psychology and ethics who are engineers and behaviourists. All engineers and behaviourists can offer in any of these disciplines is more mythology and ritual.
You can read more of this goop on this site if you want to get depressed (https://www.marineregulations.news/hong-kong-issued-a-note-after-a-fatal-accident-onboard-a-container-vessel/).
Sadly, none of the incident investigations on the safety-market include anything on personhood, ethics, social psychology, critical thinking, pastoral care, trauma or human ‘being’. A sure way to get an outcome to any investigation that suits the underlying assumptions of an industry that has not the clue about being professional.
If you are interested in an approach to investigations that works, is humanising and considers the factors listed above, you can enrol in SEEK program (https://cllr.com.au/product/seek-the-social-psychology-of-event-investigations-unit-2-elearning/).