Why Zero Cannot Understand the Basics of Safety – ALARP and Due Diligence

Safety=Zero will never be able to understand the foundations and basics of the Work Health safety Act and Regulation.

Two critical principles guide the Act and Regulation, these are:

Both principles are anchored in subjectivity, adaptability, movement and non-measurable enactment.

The language of ALARP and Due Diligence is intentionally subjective and open. In Due Diligence the most common repeated word is ‘appropriate’. This means that one decides on what is needed at the time – according to context. This means that subjective observational analysis is critical. It also means that people draw on experience, heuristics, procedures and history to make decisions.

You can view the free Due Diligence Workshop here:


You can view discussions by myself and Greg Smith on ALARP and Due Diligence here as a part of our Video Series on Risky Conversations (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/risky-conversations/ ):



Due Diligence


On Podcast:



What is important in all of this is to realise that Zero is absolute. Zero has no space or ‘mindset’ for movement, adjustment, adaptability, subjectivity or envisioning risk (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/envisioning-risk-seeing-vision-and-meaning-in-risk/). Zero is the ideology of stasis. Zero focuses on the outcome (safety) not the process (risk).

ALARP and Die Diligence contradict everything that is embodied in the ideology of zero. Zero is about to be celebrates at the global ‘zero event’ in Sydney this week (https://safetyrisk.net/the-global-zero-event-this-is-safety/).

To understand both these critical principles in risk and safety one needs to accept the reality of harm and the nature of fallible personhood. One needs to accept the reality of injury and harm and the resilience needed to work in and with the possibilities of harm. Injury and harm are not the enemy of safety.

ALARP and Die Diligence are principles that work in the qualitative and subjective space. There is nothing that can be measured or counted. Both concern the quality or judgment and decision making in context.

Zero is the goal of a numerical mindset (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/zero-the-great-safety-delusion/ ). It fosters counting and policing of injury rates and cannot comprehend the flexibility and subjectivity required to NOT think numerically. ALARP and Due Diligence have nothing to do with metrics and are the anathema of zero.

In order to best understand ALARP and Die Diligence one has to move away from zero so that safety can improve (https://safetyrisk.net/moving-away-from-zero-so-that-safety-improves/).

5. ALARP from Human Dymensions on Vimeo.


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