Why Zero Vision Can Never Tackle Mental Health

The foundation of zero is intolerance. Zero is absolute and dominates the safety industry. It is the most mentioned language in the upcoming Zero Congress to be held in November in Sydney. Indeed, it is described by the Congress as the ‘common denominator’ of safety (https://safetyrisk.net/the-dominance-of-zero-as-the-common-denominator-of-safety/ ).

Which of course Zero is not the common denominator, it is the great divider and delusion of safety (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/zero-the-great-safety-delusion/). There you go again, good olde Safety always speaking about what it is not.

And the theme of the Congress, you guessed it, mental health.

The trouble is the skill of tolerance is one of the most critical when tackling mental health. This is because mental health is all about ambiguity and this is where a disposition of tolerance is most required.

Indeed, safety is the industry that simply cannot handle ambiguity, uncertainty or volatility. There is nothing in the curriculum that even orients people towards tolerance. There is nothing in the curriculum about ethics, personhood or engaging others morally. There is nothing in the curriculum that prepares a safety advisor for the realities of mental health in the workplace.

Worse still, how does one express tolerance for mental health issues when every space in safety is saturated by zero and zero tolerance.

So, it is a joke when I read in the upcoming Zero Congress that somehow Safety understands and knows what to do about mental health. Such propaganda is simply dangerous.

If you don’t know, are not qualified and have no experience in mental health. Leave it to those who do.

And, when one encounters the many issues associated with psychosocial health, how is Safety going to help when there is nothing in the curriculum on helping, care ethics or understanding personhood? And, when Safety describes mental health as a


But it is much worse than this.

There is no curriculum, skill development or focus on mental health in Safety.

Indeed, when you label any of this stuff a ‘hazard’ you demonstrate clearly that you have no capability or intelligence about mental health.

If there was any interest in developing the skills required for counselling, advising, helping and understanding mental health, it would be in the curriculum.

It’s not there.

What often results, is a ‘talk fest’ like the zero congress that ensures that nothing will change. More tokenism, so that brutalism can run under the radar. More ‘lip service’ so that the curriculum doesn’t change. God bless engineering and behaviourism.

The truth is, the safety industry and safety advisors are the least prepared of any industry to engage in psychosocial health.

And whether they like it or not, the global mantra of zero, conditions safety advisors to be intolerant. They themselves suffer under this addiction to intolerance. I can’t wait for some books that I know are coming out in the near future on how the safety industry brutalises its own people the most.

Anyway, about zero and intolerance, here are a few samples:

Just read all this ‘goop’. You can’t infuse the workplace with all this language of intolerance and zero and then, expect people to understand the many ambiguities of mental health!

What is more, a proper profession like the legal profession don’t understand it this way:

The trouble is, when you know people are fallible and the world is random, zero doesn’t work. All it does is result in brutalism.

So don’t believe the spin from the Zero Congress. The ideology of zero disables any hope of tackling mental health.


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