Bells and Whistles and Due Diligence
The key to Due Diligence is demonstrating that your critical risks are being managed and that you can demonstrate ‘assurance’ that your methods to tackle risk ‘work’. It is amazing with all the ‘bells and whistles’ about that people lose sight of these fundamentals. Due Diligence is about tackling risk and demonstrating assurance, this is the focus of our two day training on Due Diligence. The next workshop is being offered on 1,2 November in Sydney (https://cllr.com.au/product/due-diligence-workshop-unit-13-sydney/).
I note with interest the continued nonsense of seeking to make safety ‘sexy’ (http://www.hcamag.com/hr-business-review/workplace-relations/worker-humiliated-by-photo-on-innuendofilled-poster-241799.aspx) and marketing campaigns to reduce suicide (Dumb Ways to Die) all serving as distractions from the core business of Due Diligence. One could be forgiven for thinking that risk and safety were more about marketing that having skills to tackle the basics. One would think that Due Diligence was all about counting to reach the religious target of zero (https://safetyrisk.net/no-evidence-for-the-religion-of-zero/ ). What is this obsession with all these distractions from the fundamental activity of tackling risk?
Of course, demonstrating assurance is not well served by the myth of volumes of paperwork. If you can’t demonstrate how that paperwork helps workers tackle and manage risk, it will used against you in court to demonstrate your lack of Due Diligence! The more excessive the paperwork, the more likely that it doesn’t ‘work’. What is most likely is that such excesses in paperwork, that drive ‘tick and flick’, and will emerge in court to demonstrate negligence. Forget Swiss cheese, pyramids and LTIs, none of these will surface in court and if they do, again will be made to make Safety look pretty dumb.
So, by what method do you demonstrate assurance that your critical systems ‘work’? By what method can you prove that your risks are being tackled and managed effectively? Can you explain the purpose and meaning of your paper systems? What are your non-paper systems that demonstrate ‘assurance’? What will your testimony be? Yes your honour I spent most of my time in the office counting TRIFR rates? Here your honour, Heinrich’s Pyramid for your entertainment? Yes your honour, I ran a gloves and glasses campaign to manage trivial risk? We banned all sharp knives in order to keep injuries to zero? We kept to the Global Congress Vision Zero, that’s why we lost sight of tackling critical risks? I’m sure all of these will be so helpful to an educated barrister and magistrate who knows that zero ideology is nonsense.