I have observed
I have observed the poor and careless efforts of leaders, I have seen the result of lax systems and overcomplicated methodologies. I have seen the promotion of hiding valuable truths and judging with a protective bias. I have seen the misguided.
It is for these deficiencies I get frustrated...doing is so easy.
We often see a long list of recommendations after a major incident, we often see over reactive actions. We see many say what should have happened, what should have been done and what should have been in place, this said often by those who should have done in the first place. This in-itself is reactive. "Those should haves, should have done".
I believe what we all need to "do" is get talking, get asking questions, get thinking, get listening, get time to evaluate news and information, get time to read and learn from experts and non-experts who have been writing about how to improve safety for years and get active by being proactively focused on failures.
We need to not only read through these mindful views; we need to put them into practice. I have heard many people say "yeah, I read that or went to that course" only to not apply anything that was promoted.
The only way we are ever going to reduce these controllable incidents is if we "get serious" not "consider serious". Training has to be functional, risk management has to be implemented, incident investigations need to be thorough and most of all; we need to ensure pressures are controlled in an manner that gives conducting tasks an ethical sense of practicality.
Safety does not belong to the safety department or to the safety officer; safety belongs to each one of us and each one of us is within an entity, and entities should be as one. MD
If you feel anything on this site is incorrect or false, please let me know and I will investigate.
I also need to aplogise for any spelling mistakes...I am not an educated person and believe it or not left school mostly illiterate.
CONTACT me; firstname.lastname@example.org
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Why are people so foolish and naïve to think big business is really concerned with people, safety and the environment...THEY ARE NOT!
I myself have seen enough in my time in safety to get out of the ass covering and fear industry, as not one company I have worked for was proactive in risk mitigation and all covered up and or downplayed incident causalities.
(story on Safety HERE)
What is the critical thinking pragmatist point of view on safety? Safety has become a sector full of, unethical ass covering methods, self proclaimed experts who have not worked in the sector, but who have all the answers, legal fear mongering, trivial jargon and over complicated safety systems and topics that have been introduced, invented, reinvented, plagiarised, altered, made up, and lied about by people looking to cash in or to make their role seem significant and indispensable. Safety is a multibillion dollar industry and many are out to protect their incomes.
My core philosophy is doing what we have in place now (simple first HERE) and get this right and in practice, before going hunting for the new complex thing that promises to fix safety. As I have said many times; I have not seen or been in an organisation that has done risk management properly (the basics). Maybe if we focused on this simple approach and did the what is advertised via laws and best practices etc to its practicable best, many incidents would not occur. We should only move up into more complex topics once we know about the basic, but one would have to ask, would there be a need to make something more complex if the simple was being practiced?.
I look at all these new safety ideas/systems coming out by safety experts and how they claim they will 'save safety' with such overkill topics as psychology and BBS and not to mention Safety II and Safety Differently, it is such a con on the context collective mindsets won't change, humans are humans. If you train a person the best way, give them the best tools and equipment, and do not pressure them, the rest will fall into place (including safety) if they are intrinsically motivated, how hard is that!
We are wasting so much money, time and effort on safety programs, we employ safety people who make no real improvement in safety (nothing others like foreman and managers could not do as mindful people), and like the constant changes in government who still have not fixed education, health, and jobs, there is no long term plan in our mist. If safety was not a requirement (law & reputation) there would be very few organisations that would even contemplate having a specific safety department or safety workers. They would see (as I do) that safety is as easy as having managers, foreman and other leaders promoting safety in an everyday manner, that giving training and providing good tools and equipment is the most fundamental aspect of providing safety (have these things and safety will result). Honestly, do we really need a safety person or manager advising people to be safe...think about it (to many topics make up safety...safety is many things). Research into why most incidents happen and you will see there is not much that could be done to stop having these incidents in our current pressured and stresses environment that is full of poor plant and equipment and greedy organisations. Safety today is all about protecting organisations (and now their officers) from lawsuits and fines. Its about keeping a score so they can be seen as the 'safe' company so they can win the next contract.
It is a sad state of affairs when a law (harmonisation 2012) like here in Australia, has to be introduced, to make officers interested in safety as if they had no responsibility in the first place!. If these officers where proactive and responsible in safety to start with, such a law would not have been needed now would it...but this prove my point about collective safety not improving, as I cannot see how introducing a law will control safety in the context of mindfullness!
Then we get safety websites that constantly compare risk taking in extreme sport and life (see one of my many replies to this site HERE) with risk taking in the workplace (Embracing risk HERE). I do not think these people understand risk management in the workplace context; and are heavily influenced by childhood learning and meaning of life. Workplace risk management is where the risk assessments (simplistic to complex) give what risk is to be taken, risk is mitigated and controlled...not taken.
In sport and in life we do need to take risks to feel alive, but this risk is on the person, not an organisation. In an organisation you should respect that risk taking is not to be taken lightly. Allowing for people to make their own choice on risk is naive thinking as not all people have a good risk appitite.
These sites also promote psychology as the next big thing, yet much of what they say is impractical, irresponsible and dangerous (such as telling us to be loose on law and rules and unlearn orthodox safety). They also just basically cover the topic of consultation, which is reframed in many different ways to make it sound new and complex. I have also not seen any actions of what we can do but lots of what has happened (psychology is retrospective). I see a lot of comments about finding a middle ground, but no examples. They say we need less rules but don't give what one should go, they say we need to reduce paperwork but don't say which paperwork. The reason is that they cannot give examples. So I have to ask...WHAT ARE THEY SELLING? how to be a moral human? what is moral?
I also see that academics HERE rule the world of safety. It is almost like they are the only ones who have a thinking brain (so what they went to uni and memorised data, this is nothing to do with thinking), the rest of us are just there to follow their every word as gospel. The academics are themselves so cynical about many things in safety (even though they despise the cynical term and blame this as a major contributor to a toxic environment) yet they fail to acknowledge that it is their academic friends who create how safety is to work.
he safety person/department is left to carry the weight of this collective safety failure and is often called many negative terms, such as spudheads or fun police by experts who seem to want to segregate safety even further. If safety people are being called spud heads (people who are shaped to suit others), then I would have to ask who creates them? if safety people are spud heads for taking their role seriously, then so must be police, military personnel and anyone else who has to follow rules to do their job.
Being a safety person I believe has to return back to the role of advisor, auditor, collaborator and investigator, nothing more and nothing less. They have to stop being shaped into roles and responsibilities that suit others HERE out of convenience and cost cutting. Even the term environment should be taken out of the HSE tittle. Environmental care is a specialised area, and I doubt many in safety would know much about environmental studies. Its a specialist role such as psychology, learning etc. This is why I say safety is made up by many things. Safety is not something you can do!
Many specifically trained experts are trying to add to the role of a safety advisor as a way to market/sell some safety system/concept and business accepts this because it is cheaper to have a multi-skilled role to save money than having to employ the expertise of another for a specific sector. If you break down the role a safety person today, there is a low percentage of role congruence being applied to the practice of safety and risk management. It is mostly reviewing lots of meaningless paperwork, preparing reactive investigation reports, doing trivial audits that really result in no actions, training work topics that they themselves have little experience in, assessing, filling out return to work forms, attending training on how to "become", and lots of other mundane stuff that is secondary to proactive safety.
I am the point that I really think there is no need for safety people if we continue down this pathway of expecting the safety person to be all they are not. One company I worked for said the role of safety is now 80% training and assessment. In this case the role tittle should be renamed, but then this would not meet the complience of safety coverage!.
The safety person has become the scapegoat for the true leaders within the organisation. Ownership of safety is constantly expressed by some experts as the responsibility of safety people and departments. There are self claimed safety experts writing topics on some safety web sites that say safety people need to be "change/culture managers" HERE and should have expertise in all manner of topics such as psychology, teaching, and language. It is a dam shame these people add to the confusion and negative discourse in safety. If these people had actually been in front line safety, they would know the i$$ues. Being a consultant, or coming into safety via other accidental means, does not give this level of understanding.
From my leanings and understanding in safety; you can have the best SMS, expertise experts, award wining logos and posters, and all means of other purchased silver bullets, but none of these will make a dam bit of difference to the fact that; pressure has the greatest influence on negative outcomes. Almost all incidents I have investigated or have learned about occurred due to something that was forced by pressures/demands.
|I am not holding this gun to your head, but...if you don't ignore safety procedures, cut some corners, and hurry up|
Pressure to supply (make money) stops training from being done, Pressure to supply stops maintenance programs, Pressure to supply creates stress, Pressure to supply causes unhealthy competition, Pressure to supply neglects the human needs of safety and community, and Pressure to supply makes people do negative things and deviate from the acceptable and the rules.
So, the pressures I am discussing in my philosophy are those that cause deaths and serious injuries to people and which also degrade our fragile environment. In our culture, we are not allowing ourselves to be appropriately time managed. By this I mean we do not cost out tasks on a fair level of safe labour effort. We continually under the realm of profiteering/greed cut back on labour time to meet a deadlines and expectations. If we were doing safety properly there would be a 15% safety component added to all jobs (6hrs a week in a 40hr week given to safety). So sadly, these profiteering inspired leaders continue to ignore the real issues of safety (the ones that cause the most risk) and continue to hope luck will see them through.
"Turning people into those who know lots about everything to a point they know little about anything, is what many out to make a dollar from safety are making"
Reading through many safety topics and replied comments on safety sites and blogs, (sites that have been written by mostly self proclaimed safety experts with clean hands), experts that have on the better part of their working life have never been in front or middle line safety roles themselves to now between real and hearsay, and listening to their various perspectives on what they think safety is, it is little wonder why the term ‘safety’ has become such a despised word in workplaces and why dissonance is growing within the safety sector itself.
Safety has become a joke of its own making
Some of these experts are trying to blame the front line safety people for all the wrongdoings and failing of safety. They say safety people have little idea about many expertise topics and that they should become highly educated in such topics as psychology, teaching and engineering just to name a few. Do these highly strung experts really think that the general safety person is the reason why OHS is in such a poor state and that it is these safety people who are to blame for this growth towards such a unconstructive OHS culture?
Maybe instead of specific safety people being multi-skilled in all areas, why doesn’t the officers, construction foremen, production mangers, human resources, etc just promote safety in their areas...then the workplace will not need specialised safety people!
I think many posts/comments made by these people are highly bias towards their own ideals and self promotion, and anyone who reads through them can easy see this for themselves...oh look I am presenting here, I have a new book, I can parrot and take ideas... etc etc . These people are full of biases, and some sites/cults and groups so highly edited/protected (feedback and replies edited or not shown, others blocked) by the site owners/snake oil sellers to protect their vested interest and self gains. Humans will go a long way to protect those (so called experts) who can help them in some way better their careers or lifestyle...and boy I have seen my share of dumb arse footsoildiers!.
I think the issue with some of these experts is they have not worked as a frontline safety person to fully understand the real issues that face many frontline safety people in today’s environment (as in the role of safety owner). There is big difference between having to do what you need to do as a safety worker(in it current context of manager of safety), than being a consultant that comes and goes with no real requirement or obligations (or havign to work with management and workers). How many of these titled experts are pushing their own agendas have had to conduct a risk assessment or incident investigation on their own, or for that matter, work through an audit based on legislative requirements, then have to give real reports!. The promotion from some experts to ignore legislation, safety systems and processes and to just use such topics as psychology, worker free choice, work as done is nothing less than idiotic in a professional sense and dangerous in a risk considering how our culture operates.
All many of these experts are promoting is a car sales pitch based on their specific expertise to sell a system they are making a business on. Then they think they can come in with their expert views and ideologies and think they know what it is like in the real world. We see this all the time in industry and business where some ‘expert’ (academic who lives in dreamerstan world) comes in and sells their linear text book stuff (mostly written by those who also have not been there at the coalface to understand key issues themselves) to an organisation, only for the organisation to find out in the end it was not the right direction for their organisation and or added no real value at all because they cannot even affors to practice basic safety.
I am totally against complexity in safety, as history is constantly telling us that simple often works the best. There are just too many people with their own profiteering agendas pushing unnecessary topics into such sectors as safety for any real good to suffice. Sure, I acknowledge safety has issues just like many sectors, but I believe this is fundamentally due to the role of the safety position being turned into too much of a multi-skilled role for any real benefit.
These experts are trying to make ‘Safety People’ take on way to much, and own to much. These experts are saying safety people should be managers, leaders, psychologists, document writers, engineers, environmentalists, trainers, educators, risk owners, police, medical practitioners, auditors, incident investigators, graphic designers, purchasers, researchers, consolers, data analysts, spokespeople, issue solvers, angels looking out over everyone and of course the person who owns safety failure when things go bad. They are clearly wanting to make a business selling snake oil, their interest is not making for a workable solution.
As I have said many times, if these people want the industry to change for the better, they have to start with legislation; that being the reducing of culpability (lawsuits) etc. The No Win No Fee system and Workers Cover world we live in will never allow for individual ownership of blame. A worker hurts themselves doing something they were not supposed to do and the they are entitled to all sorts of compensation. The reality though is lawsuits won’t change because the blame game shapes everything and everyone is in debt to accountability (I have since named this Epiculture - we all create the culture we get in our workplaces by not wanting to pay for safety).
Organisations are in a tough predicament most of the time in relation to best practice OHS. There are profits that need to be made and people to satisfy. There are time lines and budgets that have to be met. This is where safety becomes the double edge sword. It’s needed to look after people, but it costs a lot of time and money if managed mindfully and completely. If organisations don’t manage safety, the organisation and those officers making the decisions are going to be found liable, they own the risk...not the worker. It’s like not wearing a seatbelt, you know it’s there to be put on, you have read the instruction manual on driving that tells you to put your seat belt on, you have been trained, so if you don’t put it on you will be fined. It’s that simple.
The push from experts for safety people and the safety sector to pick up their people skills and learn about such topics as psychology etc is missing the whole point of a mindfulness organisation. This thinking denotes safety as the sole owners of safety and risk. This ideology would be fine if safety people owned and managed risk, but they don't, and anyone who says different really needs to understand corporate governance and enterprise risk management. If people don’t respect what safety is (or should be) and the role of a safety person (what they do), then sorry, this is a cultural issue and needs to be rectified by the leaders or manages of the organisation.
Some non front line trained safety experts have constantly noted in many various ways that it is the safety sector and safety people that is at fault for the dissonance in safety. Safety people are not, nor should not be the decision makes and we have to make this very clear. We also have to greatly consider the fact that ‘experts’ have written the laws that safety is governed by, and thats that. What about the officers of the company, the managers, the foreman, the ones who are supposed to be overseeing the safe operation, why have they been ignored by these experts? I believe that the targeting of “safety people” is purely based on being able to sell safety systems and keep safety as its own thing.
Alluding that psychology would have stopped some of the biggest incidents to date is in my mind a false representation of the common issue present here. There is a greater reason as to why people are exposed to risk and I will discuss this at a later time. But incidents such as Pike River, Beaconsfield, the many BPs, NASA, Longford etc clearly shows other key factors were at play. Incidents like this occur are due to pressures, and it is far more reaching than saying we just need to simply learn more about building relationships, engaging others, understanding human decision making, improved listening and communication skills, supervision skills and a host of capabilities that can be delivered through expertise in psychology, sociology, education, learning, leadership, management and social psychology.
Most decision makers know what’s right and wrong (safety is a choice), what has to be done safely etc, but when budgets, production, timelines and reputation need to be met, the difference between doing the right thing or cutting corners depends on livelihood and success (so choosing unsafety is the choice made). As I have often said;
“there is a right and a wrong way, the right way usually being the hard way and the wrong way usually being the easy way…human nature dictates that laziness is a key survival trait, so we prefer the easy way, which is the most often the wrong way”
I have walked away from great paying jobs simply because I was not prepared to cut corners, I have seen management pay for an under the counter audit pass to win a contract, I have seen incidents covered up and not reported, I have seen workers blamed when the real blame belonged to senior management. Those who are still working in these organisations are still there working knowing and participating in this activity because they are in debt have families to provide for and have bills to pay. Morality simply cannot exist when money is the driving force.
Reality Question; if everyone was kindly ‘asked’ to fit a satellite tracker (in vehicle monitoring system) to their vehicles (so police can manage safety) and a speed controller that does not allow you to go over the area speed limit, would you freely put it into your car if it cost $3000? No….ok what if those who put into their cars got free fuel for 5 years? Now you say yes…you were not prepared to spend $3000 of safety but you were when you had a chance to benefit. See my point.
As far as I am concerned, you could ask these developed and frame questions that Dr Long uses in his surveys of workplaces for any group of people around the world for any topic related to learning, people and leadership etc, and the results would come out the same. We all wish for better skills and we all wish to be heard, respected, treated like people, but reality is reality and budgets and other constraints often negate this. Accidents such as Pike River occurred for no other reason than pressure to produce. It’s the same reason why the space shuttle blew up and why these big accidents occur. No amount of psychology, learning or understanding how we make choices would have stopped these incidents from occurring. OHS was ignored under pressure to met expectations.
All this noise being created by some professionals is making safety complex, thus creating an over-complication of a relatively simple system and role. I do not understand why the role of a safety person needs to be turned into a more complex role when many safety people do not even exercise the current prescribed ways or in some cases not even permitted to exercise prescribed ways. If a safety person wishes to learn about how humans think and how best to learn, pick a book up and do some research. What, you saying you don’t have time or money to learn it yourself and you want a certificate that deems you competent for your resume? Well there is the answer why people may not be good at safety, they are not passionate enough. I have seen people go to lunch and talk nothing about their work at work, go home and play computer games, and party on etc. That’s fine, but a truly passionate person reads literature in their lunch break, they prefer to study and practice instead of playing computer games. People like Edison, Einstein, the great engineers, the great thinkers, the great mathematicians etc were devoted to their work. Sure, there is time to play, but thinking is always in their minds. So to get around this problem of lack of expertise, what these experts are pushing hard for is for business to pick up the bills and to make time. Here is the problem in the real world, these businesses don’t make time now for practicing or fully educating their workers that cover the necessities such as fully learning risk management practices and legislative requirements. It is simply a cost that could cripple an organisation.
The nudging of specific expertise into and onto the safety sector is feeding this over-complication monster and is making way for undue failures and total sector fractionalisation. I understand and respect the idea on face value, and also agree with the principle behind the logic (making for a safer workplace), but the focus should not be targeting an additive approach, but a reductionist approach (less is better) instead. Maybe we could attempt to adjust and better educate the current processes so as to make it clearer as to how safety utilizes and gathers practicable advice when considered necessary. If a risk assessment warrants the input form an expert, then they seek it. If the incident investigation warrants expert advice, then they seek it.
Expecting that ‘safety people’ (proclaimed owners of safety) become experts in all factions that constitute a collective entity (safety) is unrealistic. Expecting that accountability of such a broad spectrum of competence belong to a single faction or person is absurd, illogical and dangerous, particularly when the management of risk and safety is in itself, a collective undertaking that all within that entity has partial ownership of, something Dr Long does not address. There is just way too much education/knowledge needed to be an expert in such a broad scope of topics, that it would be impossible for one to have enough time to be fully classed as collectively competent (knowing all about all).
So this is where I allude to the ‘danger’ of such illogical thinking. Instead of safety people seeking expertise from people who stay in competence within their field of expertise, we would end up having safety people making choices based on incomplete, broad, fast-tracked knowledge. The diverse workload that a proactive safety person currently has entrusted upon them today cannot warrant specific expertise in any all topics and I really feel is not needed. You would not expect an accountant to have expert knowledge of psychology or engineering, but you can expect the accountant to seek expert knowledge from either to curb spending. Having a general competency in human interaction, compassion, empathy and having some basic people skills should be fine in most cases. If you are required to be more, then the employment processes should sort this out via key selection criteria.
If we were to go down this avenue of increasing OHS specific expertise competence, I would say based on current history of accreditation (as seen already in OHS with fast tracked, online safety training and RPL) that specialist expertise knowledge would also greatly lose significance. Over time, you would be able to do an engineering or psychology course on line for a cheap price (each being different in the training material). Just think of the implications of this for one moment, there are lives that could be at stake due to the bad choices made by bad learning implemented by incompetent proclaimed experts who in law are not classed as experts anyway. Keep this expertise where it needs to stay. If one wishes to have better knowledge about any specific profession they feel might ‘assist’ them in their role, then fair enough. But we should not allow for this better knowledge as a means to shortcut and save money (a factor that will be used) in the safe operation of the organisation.
The current OHS material, systems and processes the safety sector has available today is more than adequate and is a practicable system. It is a system developed and updated by leading safety experts that have all worked together to bring together a system that is easy to follow and understand (if one takes the time to understand it). From Acts, Regulations, Codes, Standards, Guidelines to the SIA, the Body of knowledge to industry specific material. Everything a safety person/officer requires to meet theirs and their organisations obligations is either found in these documents or found in specific industry material. Other such information is found via experts.
We have to ask this question; do we need to even start looking at this option and can it really be justified as a tangible option. I believe this ideology is putting unnecessary impetus into a sector that already has great obligations to meet and one that has a heavy workload (if being proactive that is). Many of the large scale incidents around the world such as; Pike River, the NASA Challenger shuttle, Deepwater Horizon, Longford Esso, BP Texas Refinery, Gulf of Mexico, occurred because simple, practicable and well documented tools and systems were not used as prescribed. All the expertise needed to manage risk was there, but not used.
I believe some professionals are contributing to safety dissonance and adding to the confusion that already exists in relation to ‘what is a safety person and what do they do’, especially when they call safety people potato heads and spud heads. Many professional forces undue obligations and blame onto the safety sector and safety people, blaming them for not having expertise in specific fields of knowledge that falls under his realm of knowledge. Although I see this target audience may be changing as the need shifts to leaders and officers. I feel this is simply is the wrong approach because it is not a requirement for a safety person to have these specific skills.
So let’s pause...
STOP. THINK. Safety people are NOT the owners of ‘safety’, the same way police officer’s are not the owners of protection.
1. Does a safety person need to expertise in engineering?
2. Does a safety person need to expertise in psychology?
3. Does a safety person need to expertise in environment?
4. Does a safety person need to expertise in developing culture?
5. Does a safety person need to expertise in leadership?
6. Does a safety person need to expertise in management?
7. Does a safety person need to expertise in decisions and judgment making?
8. Does a safety person need to be an expert on specific aspects of safety - like ergonomics or confined spaces or systems or whatever?
All these answers are NO! (In the black and white sense) – Many frontline safety people who feel they need to have these competencies to exemplify the safety role, are saying they don’t learn about these topics in safety training (Cert IV, Diplomas, and Degrees etc). The reason for this is very simple; safety people don’t learn anything about these expertise subjects in OHS training is because they don’t need to be an expert on these subjects to be able to fulfil their role as a safety person. All safety people should be able to work in almost any sector, its the same thing.
It is a ‘bonus’ for the organisation if you are one of these experts turn safety people, but, it is not the general requirement to fill this role. If an organisation wants to employ the services of any of these expertise's, then they should advertise the required expertise first i.e. Wanted, psychologist with OHS qualifications. Wanted, engineer with OHS qualifications. Wanted, environmentalist with OHS qualifications, etc. It should not be the other way around as seen in job ads. In saying this though, we also have to be vigilant about employing expertise, as it has been shown in many cases, expert advice can be wrong and fail also. One expert advice may differ from the next based on biases and education.
These expertise's listed above are not owned by safety people, nor should they be. The information that is needed to assist safety people in doing their job is there or obtainable (through internal and external experts and literature). I.e. if you are investigating a mechanical failure on a bit of plant, you as a safety person seek appropriate expert advice form the mechanic or engineer (just as the courts will do), along with the facts presented in OHS documents such as Standards that tell us what is required. The information a safety person gains is then transferred into a recommendation that officers or managers can interpret, so they can decide on the best action.
These expertise subjects that safety people are supposedly meant to be qualified experts in have been slowly introduced over time. They come from job descriptions advertising terms such as leaders, change managers, human factor specialists etc, talk about spending years learning all about these things.
Then safety people feel pressured to be these things, or feel obligated to fulfil these requirements. Very misleading role requirements, unwarranted and is the cause of distaste in terms of safety (because safety people feel they have to be the owner of making safe safety). Look at some safety consultants bios; they range from saying they are safety culture developers, to psychological analysts to safety leaders and risk experts...really.
1. Is it a safety person’s job to find hazards and manage risk?
2. Is it a safety person’s job to implement controls?
3. Is it a safety person’s role to do a risk assessment?
No, these things are a collective effort that requires consultation. Not one person owns any of these tasks. It is the safety person’s job to help facilitate, coordinate etc with managers, but not do per se. I.e. if you have finalised your risk assessment and a control needs to be implemented, the manager, foreman, supervisor etc overseeing that task is the one who should implement the control, not the safety person.
So, what do I think a safety person is; A safety person is a collaborator of OHS facts. A safety person is an interpreter of OHS legislation. A safety person is an assistant to managers. they are not owners of safety.
There is also no need to specialise safety training to be industry specific as mentioned by some. The idea is good, but again unwarranted. Why? Because a safety person should be able to do their job in any industry or sector. There have been many successful CEOs that have been entrusted with leading an organisation they had little prior knowledge about, but they did their job well and lead the organisation as a CEO (I am not sure there is a school on CEOing). This is how I see safety.
All this talk about clubs, associations, Linkedin groups etc is all such nonsense and is just going to add to the noise. It will also add more work, more specialised tools to be used, more assessments and more confusion, all adding to the dissonance towards ‘safety’. Can you imagine a safety person going around the worksite with critical thinking tool and a list of psychological questions to analyse workers to see if they are safe or not. I think we need to investigate the motives of some these people and be skeptical about the direction they are trying to nudge us towards. Is it really in the best interest of the sector, workers and organisation, or is it self-serving and profiteering.
Many experts change their minds to suit the current climate to take advantage of a situation. I have observed some experts one minute saying safety is not a science, then the next linking to another experts who call it such. I have always said safety is a science. Risk and Safety; is a science. Science; Latin scientia, simply meaning "knowledge". I wonder if such experts will tell other expert that “The idea that safety is a ‘science’ baffles the imagination”and that people who think this are “delusional” as quoted in previous topics.
There is a lot of money to be made in OHS selling snake oil and silver bullets by telling everyone the old way is not working, when the truth is that the old way is being flooded with all the new stuff and being forgotten after not even being tried. The old is not working because people don't use it...period!.
Everything a safety person needs (outside of experience, aptitude and personality) is there in black and white and is found under; Acts, Regulations, Codes, standards and best practices and industry specific information.
How about safety people focus on getting good at understanding OHS obligations, practice consultation and become proud about being a person who is there to help bring it all together and assist those who are time deprived and who are focusing on their expertise.
There are so many safety people out there that have not read the basic stuff let alone understand it, then they say OHS is not good enough or needs improvement. If safety people are stopped from trying to be something they are not meant to be, or being forced into undue expertise that they have little knowledge about, then people may start to respect the safety sector and safety people not as police, leaders, controllers or implementers, but as people who are there audit and investigate.