Safety “Professionals” Behaving Badly
I think that part of the difficulty, for the safety professional, is that they perceive that they are better educated and more knowledgeable about safety than those around them. This is perfectly understandable (from their point of view). Part of the issue is that the training and education that most safety professionals receive (I know it to be true in my previous lives) is about legislation, penalties, incident investigations, and systems; it is not about understanding how people make decisions about risk. Their training is not about how people think, in fact it is mostly not about people at all. And therein lies the real issue; safety is about people and how they think and make decisions. It is about understanding how people make sense of risk and then act on their understanding. Once we have a few clues along these lines we now also have a few clues as to how we can improve the well-being of our people, including helping them to be safe.
I’m currently getting sent all these photos and videos (i wont publish so as to protect the guilty) of a couple of Safety Professionals from a mining contracting company who had to be rescued by a FEL from their overturned 4WD after trying to cross a flooded creek somewhere in the Australian Outback!
I have been paid a to write comprehensive SOP’s and SWMS for professional lawn mowers but I am the first to admit that I don’t do a Take 5 or even wear 8 kinds of PPE when I mow the lawn at home, yeah I’ve used the wheelie bin as a ladder, I’ve been pulled over for speeding at the gates of the company where I was about to do an AS4801 audit…………….
I’ve seen a Workcover Inspector fined in the city for “J” walking. I think we have all heard the story of the Workcover Inspector pulled over by the cops for speeding who then proceeded to issue the Officer with a fine for not wearing a hi viz vest.
Do Safety Professionals leave themselves open to ridicule when they decree all these convoluted systems, procedures, behaviours designed to protect us from ourselves but then fail or neglect to espouse them personally or set the example? Or are they human and fallible after all – despite what they think?
We copped a lot of flack for this article a year ago: http://www.safetyrisk.com.au/arrogant-safety-professionals-take-note/
I would love to hear some more examples of hypocrisy and Safety Professionals behaving badly!!!!
One of our readers just sent in this photo of the parking abilities (or lack of) of a Workplace Health and Safety Manager: