Safety is one of those activities that is excellent at addition but very poor at subtraction. As we most often see, even with the most obscene, unethical and dumb idea in safety (eg. Dumb Ways to Die – DWTD), are easy to bring in and impossible to take away. This is the nature of sunk cost, even when the campaign or idea is completely ineffective (such as DWTD). What happens as a result is: statistics get fudged, the spin comes out and we now get caught in the nonsense of ‘fake news’. Fake news is really propaganda (https://www.ratical.org/ratville/AoS/Propaganda.pdf). You can see a good effort at ‘fake news’ here with the spin on the DWTD campaign (https://mumbrella.com.au/dumb-ways-die-stopped-dumb-behaviour-around-trains-270751 ). If you want to test your skills in critical thinking, discernment and deconstruction, just tackle this piece, you will have a field day.
Well, there is some good news, Hazardman has disappeared. When something normally disappears, we try to find it, not in this case. Hazardman was a lost cause from the very start. What an absurd contradiction it was to every basic concept in the safety idea. Anyway, congratulations to the ACT Regulator, Hazardman has quietly slipped into oblivion. Wouldn’t it be good if other regulators caught on the idea of subtraction not addition, this is the problem with paperwork (https://vimeo.com/162034157). BTW, the paperwork video below gets over 1000 hits a week across the globe, tell you something?.
The ACT Regulator has done really well here, as it has also done with the embuggerance of excessive Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) (https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/app/answers/detail/a_id/3779 – where they state that: A SWMS is not required for ‘work of a minor nature’.). Unfortunately, we still see organisations (usually associated with zero harm zealots) insisting on SWMS for low risk tasks which are not required under the Act. (We also the same organisations make nonsense attributions with statistics to mis-definitions of safety). Excessive SWMS simply drive ‘tick and flick’ and reduce the analysis of risk. Wouldn’t it be good if the regulators could just stick to the requirements of the Act and Regulation, but most don’t. It seems the seduction of excess is alive and well in safety. We saw this recently with the NSW Mines Department advocating risk elimination (https://safetyrisk.net/alarp-the-regulator-and-alt-facts/) as ALARP (https://vimeo.com/162637292 ), which is of course nonsense.
Wouldn’t it be good if one day other regulators like the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) also took on board such sense as the ACT Regulator. Wouldn’t it be good to see such nonsense ideas a drops calculators, pyramids, matrices and curves disappear from WHS text books (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-culture-does-exist/ ). Not likely under the regime of zero harm. The language of zero is the most destructive language for safety and ruins any chance of establishing an organizational culture where risk is tackled effectively.
So congratulations to the ACT Regulator, well done and keep up the great work.
Editors Note: It seems that nearly all the evidence that this campaign ever existed is gone. However, I have found the original video used in commercials to launch the campaign. I share it below for posterity and for if we ever need a reminder of how silly safety can get when it is desperate to stay relevant and ignores the by-products created by a lack of ethics, critical thinking and empathy.