Window Dressing, Theatre and More of The Same
We read the sad news of yet another fatality in mining in the Zero Harm in Leadership state. Of course, zero ideology is anti-leadership and anti-learning and it seems there’s not much learning going on in mining Queensland.
We learned in 2020 that when things go wrong in mining it’s more of the same, window dressing, shifting tables on the Titanic and oh yes another review. The last review was the Brady Review, a wonderful engineering piece to ensure that nothing changes and paperwork doubles. The pattern hasn’t changed in decades. Whenever there is a disaster or tragedy the method is to throw engineers at the problem hoping for some imaginative outcome.
Unfortunately at Moranbah, this is the second fatality in 7 months. The evidence shows that incidents are more likely following a fatality not the other way around. The evidence shows that the more power attributed to paperwork the more likely incidents will increase. Excessive paperwork is neither a protection in court (https://vimeo.com/162034157 ) nor a pathway to risk management (https://safetyrisk.net/paper-safe/ ).
One thing is certain, when Safety has a problem it ensures it keeps everything in its comfortable space so that nothing will change. When zero fails, don’t question zero. When engineering fails, don’t question engineering. When BBS brutalizes people, don’t question just keep up greater vigilance, policing and compliance in the hope that something might improve. And for god sake, don’t listen to criticism, that’s toxic. One thing is certain, there could be no possibility that the Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) could even make a contribution to the problem so, make sure you don’t SEEK to find out what it’s about.
When you demonise criticism as anti-Safety, there can never be learning.
How sad this safety industry that wants to be professional but cannot be Transdisciplinary (https://safetyrisk.net/you-dont-really-want-to-learn-in-risk-do-you/ ). How sad this safety industry that keeps everything in the club to ensure that safety doesn’t improve (https://safetyrisk.net/moving-away-from-zero-so-that-safety-improves/ ). How sad this industry that never enquires about what it doesn’t know and seeks something different in more of the same (https://safetyrisk.net/the-safety-and-new-view-debate/ ). How sad this industry that happily brutalizes people in the name of good and the wonders why people don’t report or speak positively of safety. How sad this industry that loves to symbolize the harm of others (https://safetyrisk.net/the-wisdom-of-the-beguines-for-safety/ ) and then names its unethical symbol as good. How sad an industry that loves to spruik the word ‘professional’ but has no professional ethic.
In the sad end, it all becomes theatre and nothing improves.