The best way to test fluffy ethics is to investigate the rigor in topics of interest and discussions of ontology, worldview, paradigms and methodology. A sure indicator of fluffy ethics comes when the language of ethics and morality are made inter-changeable (such as in the AIHS BoK on Ethics). Nothing is worse for developing an ethic than confusing morality with ethics. Both words have a completely different etymology and meaning and when understood Phenomenologically (Heidegger, Ricoeur ) can bring out a rich understanding of why there is such dissonance between what actions people theorise about and what they do. Definition is the foundation of thinking critically about actions and wisdom.
You can’t shy away from it. Any discussion of ethics, morality, justice, hermeneutics (theory of interpretation), politics and wisdom must be philosophical. Unfortunately, the avoidance of philosophy is something Safety does really well. Ignorance and confusion are the standard faire for Safety under the assumption that the subjectivities of risk are objective. Delusional.
You can also detect fluffy ethics when a position is not defined or owned. This masking not only helps hide the importance of philosophy but also masks real agendas and values. Doing so always helps maintain the status quo, in this case – zero.
In a real profession Ethics are front and centre in any curriculum, this is the case for: Law, Teaching, Nursing, Social Work, Medicine and host of helping professions. In the world of Safety compulsory mis-education, there is nothing.
If you don’t know how to think critically about ethics then you would have no coherent response to the thinking of Archbishop Coleridge (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-16/child-sex-abuse-catholic-church-confession-mark-coleridge/11872452). In order to understand Colleridge you need to understand his approach to ethics through the Catholic attachment to Aristotelian and Aquinas natural Law ethics. Otherwise, one just argues from emotivism (MacIntyre discusses the problems with emotivism in his work on After Virtue). You can’t get by on fluffy ethics.
When you don’t know how to think critically about ethics then you would have no coherent response to the thinking of the brutalism of the Government’s Robodebt strategy (https://www.mamamia.com.au/centrelink-robodebt-death/).
When you don’t know how to think critically about ethics then you would have no coherent response to the thinking of Climate Denial (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2016/01/09/why-climate-change-is-an-ethical-problem/Z).
Emotivism is what one ends up with when one is fed on fluffy ethics. And on a diet of fluffy ethics Safety is able to campaign on the unethical discourse of zero.
Fluffy ethics doesn’t help anyone make connections between ethical theory and moral action so we end up with binary nonsense that drives poor thinking and brutalism in the name of safety. Harming people emotionally, physically, mentally and socially in the name of decreased injuries is immoral. Telling fallible people they must be perfect is unethical. Brutalising people in the name of good is what you end up with when numeric are made the definition of safety. This is what the BoK on Ethics doesn’t address and leaves one with and nothing educative to help safety people think and act professionally.