Are You a Safety Person or a Desk Jockey

Despite the the new efficiency afforded by technology it seems to be making us less effective?

Are You a Safety Person or a Desk JockeyConstruction contractor

sighhhh…. who remembers the good old days? no email, no mobile phones, no internet, nothing to do except go and meet face to face and chew the fat. Visit to the office was only to pick up your pay (cash). Then the Safety Bloke got his own computer and we called him "The Seagull" as he would sit up on his perch, would only come down when there was a free feed and then he would fly around, squawk a lot and crap all over everyone!

Is it just my twisted perception or are more and more safety people becoming slaves to the latest bit of software that they convinced the Board would make them more efficient and able to process and over analyse vast quantities of hitherto useless data and turn it into pie charts, calculate SIFR to 3 decimal places and save dozens of lives in the process! What’s that you say? "It’ll only take me six months to enter all the data and fine tune the parameters and then it will automatically send me an email telling me which site hasn’t been visited by me in over six months" – AWESOME!!! The late great George Robotham referred to this stuff as “displacement activities”.

Challenge for you – if you have the guts – each month stop producing and distributing 1 of the countless reports you are no doubt spinning out and see what happens – betcha no-one says a bloody thing! You only do these reports because you can and they only say they want them because they are too scared to say otherwise – they are more than likely filed directly in the round draw on the floor under the desk!

I was pretty impressed by the approach taken by Mark Jentsch on his Lunch Room Safety Consultant Blog

He started his unique consulting company after feeling that most consultants were polarising into “Zero Harm” vs “Buy my off-the-shelf safety management system“. Throw in a smattering of academics seeking to explain trends, but struggling to offer solutions. I felt that industry was rapidly become idealistic and overly risk averse. We have lost the plot”

His concept of The Lunch Room Safety Consultant harks back to when he achieved most of his biggest safety achievements: “These resulted from those casual conversations  that occurred in the lunch room. The unplanned, unstructured chats amongst colleagues that result in a problem, an idea and a practical solution. How very true is that – have a think about how many awesome solutions you have come up with sitting under a tree with a group of mates during a break or having a chat over coffee??

As Mark says: “keep in mind, it is easy to forget the wealth of knowledge that rests in our lunch rooms”.

Despite its power, Google cannot tell you what is going on at the coal face.

Do you have any thoughts? Please share them below