Dumb Ways to Die Doesn’t Work

Dumb Ways to Die Doesn’t Work

imageThe latest release of statistics from ONRSR demonstrates that the Dumb Ways to Die Strategy (DWTDS) doesn’t work. Victoria has the highest number (p.10 of the report) of suspected suicides on its network despite being dwarfed by the size of the NSW rail network.

Suicide on the Victorian network is increasing not decreasing. More so, the DWTD strategy promotes suicide through the psychological ‘priming’ of suicide activity. Every character in the animation suicides or self harms and through the psychology of ‘affect bias’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fading_affect_bias ) promotes suicide.

Of course, due to ‘sunk cost’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost  ) there will follow denials of any such link even though the tenuous link of success has always been measured through hits on the internet. If you are going to be measurement focused in WHS, you should at least get your methodology right. Hits on the internet are not a measure of anything as has been demonstrated in previous posts about this campaign:

https://safetyrisk.net/dumb-ways-to-die-and-a-strange-sense-of-success/

https://safetyrisk.net/dumb-ways-to-drive-safety-video/

https://safetyrisk.net/dumb-ways-to-discourse-a-failed-approach-in-safety/

https://safetyrisk.net/dumb-ways-to-love-and-die/

https://safetyrisk.net/new-safety-videodumb-ways-to-die/

https://safetyrisk.net/dumb-ways-to-measure-effectiveness/

https://safetyrisk.net/5-dumb-ways-communicate-train-safety/

https://safetyrisk.net/dumber-ways-to-promote-safety/

What this DWTD campaign demonstrates is that any approach to safety ought to consider the Social Psychology of Risk (https://safetyrisk.net/understanding-the-social-psychology-of-risk-and-safety/ ). Safety ought to consider all the schools of thought (https://safetyrisk.net/a-great-comparison-of-risk-and-safety-schools-of-thought/ ) in order to seek a balanced view in how to tackle risk. In so doing one can better understand the by-products and trade-offs in such a campaign and why such campaigns won’t work. Just like the Hazardman campaign that has been recently retracted, safety should be understood not through marketing but through the basics (https://safetyrisk.net/bells-and-whistles-and-due-diligence/). When will Safety realize that safety is not some PR exercise? That firms in marketing and advertising have a zero vision about the Social Psychology of Risk. Come to think of it, both zero visions align, a sure recipe for a failure in WHS.

Dr Rob Long

Dr Rob Long

Expert in Social Psychology, Principal & Trainer at Human Dymensions
Dr Rob Long

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Dr Rob Long
PhD., MEd., MOH., BEd., BTh., Dip T., Dip Min., Cert IV TAA, MRMIA Rob is the founder of Human Dymensions and has extensive experience, qualifications and expertise across a range of sectors including government, education, corporate, industry and community sectors over 30 years. Rob has worked at all levels of the education and training sector including serving on various post graduate executive, post graduate supervision, post graduate course design and implementation programs.

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