Give Safety A Sporting Chance

What If Safety In Sport Was Managed The Same Way As Safety At Work?

imageThere is just no way we would manage the safety aspects of other parts of our lives in the same way that we manage safety at work, yet somehow we survive, and have a great time in the process. Sometimes, reframing or using metaphors and humour can help us to reflect on sacred archetypes through a new lense. I accidently did this when I wrote You’ve just got to love safety last week. I combined safety and love just to see what would happen and it caused quite a reaction. This week I thought I would do the same thing with another important part of our lives – SPORT. At the end is a great video made a couple of years ago by NIKE which highlights beautifully what happens when you try to achieve “Risk Free Perfection

OK, time to move the goal posts and throw a few curve balls without pulling punches:

  1. Most sports would be banned.
  2. Contests would no longer be won on points scored, rather by achieving the least number of penalties.
  3. All uniforms will be fluoro with retro-reflective strips for night games.
  4. If you tell someone at a dinner party that you play sport they will give you a weird look and ask if you are wearing your compression tights.
  5. Injured players will return to the fields the very next day and be given suitable duties such as selling hot dogs, doing statistics, emptying bins, cleaning boots and polishing balls.
  6. Cheering and yelling encouragement must mean you want players to get injured – you will only yell: “Don’t get hurt”
  7. NIKE’s new slogan will be “JUST DON’T DO IT”
  8. Safety will be the first agenda item for all team meetings.
  9. DuPont will become a major sponsor.
  10. Players who take risks will be considered poor role models and suspended.
  11. Team Managers will tell players that they can stop the game if they feel it is unsafe – players know full well what will happen if they do!
  12. Meaningless aphorisms and slogans will appear around courts, fields and locker rooms: “Player Safety is No1 Priority”,  “Go Soft and Go Home”, “All losing is preventable”, “Its not whether you win or lose but how safe you play the game” and “Zero Penalties”.
  13. Every team now has a Captain and a Safety Officer. Umpires and Referees will consult with the Safety Officers on all decisions.
  14. Sport psychology will be considered theoretical mumbo jumbo pushed only by academics.
  15. Sport Safety Consultants are unlikely to know much about the game or sport in general – that is irrelevant
  16. Generic Safe Play Method Statements, suitable for any sport, can be downloaded or available on an app.
  17. A 4th and much higher step will be added to the Olympic dais for the Safe Player of The Competition.
  18. To reduce exposure to injury, all training sessions will be theory based only.
  19. Players Judiciary hearings will be 95% safety breaches.
  20. There will be zero tolerance for golden safety rules – three strikes rule no longer applies.
  21. All players much carry first aid kits, gloves clipped to belts, eye protection and hearing protection when crowd numbers exceed 100.
  22. Rule books will quadruple in size.
  23. Running is banned, walking speed not exceed 5km/h (3mph) and no player will step outside of marked yellow lines.
  24. Each Club will appoint a Zero Injury Manager.
  25. All spectators mush be inducted before they can watch the game, unless accompanied by a player
  26. All new tactics and plays must be risk assessed.

You might now like to watch this brilliantly uplifting video by Nike showing the dangers of applying risk free perfection to Soccer!

This has really scary ramifications for any attempt to create zero harm in the workplace by way of turning workers into clones – all in the name of safety.

Quote from the creator of Perfect Inc sounds like something a safety zealot might say:

“Reckless, 76% chance of missing the target. Reckless, a 50% chance of failure. Even the greatest players of our time make mistakes and take too many risks, after all they are only human …… Clones have flawless decision making, guaranteed results, it’s what the people want”

Then see what happens………. The winning mantra: “There is no greater danger than playing it safe”

Do you have any thoughts? Please share them below