Originally posted on May 16, 2021 @ 4:14 PM
Injury Rates Are Up, You’re Sacked
I have known some amazing, skilled, caring and helping people in safety over the last few years and all have left the industry. Most were sacked because injury rates went up. One was sacked when injury rates went up and a spruiking con man (https://safetyrisk.net/setting-up-a-safety-con/ ) promising zero was brought in. There is no better con than promising zero to a CEO or dumb board who want to believe it. Nothing is easier to make a fortune from than promising zero to a CEO and board with a dumb open wallet. The life in zero will be short so charge the premium price for zero, because you won’t be there long.
Nothing is more unethical and un-professional than defining safety by a number (https://safetyrisk.net/the-delusion-of-numbers-and-a-number-of-delusions/; https://safetyrisk.net/its-always-a-number/ ). There is no connection between injury rates and safety.
Yes, here we are after years of the regulation of safety watching people being sacked on the basis of pure mythology. Interestingly, most who I know who were sacked have gone into the helping professions. Safety will never be a profession until it tackles the challenge of an ethic of risk and the dehumanization of zero.
When your worldview is engineering and measurement, then your delusion will be that injury rates define safety. One thing is for sure, injury rates are neither a defence in court nor a help to creating safety (https://vimeo.com/165996392 ). Positive indicators as a measurement of safety are similarly useless. The presence of safety is a qualitative cultural outcome and any quantitative attribution to safety is manufactured, but the attribution is not real. There is no connection between the two.
The only way to step out of this injury rate malaise is to adopt a transdisciplinary approach (https://safetyrisk.net/transdisciplinary-safety/ ) to risk. Unless Safety steps outside of the engineering straight jacket it has chosen to inflict upon itself, it will continue to wave goodbye to caring, helping people who are happy to leave a culture of brutalism. When safety is defined by a number (zero) the only outcome can be brutal.
Of course, I hear these people say they don’t believe in zero who come from the associations yet, by remaining silent on zero is passive affirmation. This is how zero perpetuates and why injury rates remain the single focus of safety people who have to report on them each month.
Unless you are prepared to become a TRIFR zombie (https://safetyrisk.net/trifr-safety-zombies/ ), your life in safety won’t last long (https://safetyrisk.net/the-bradbury-effect-bp-syndrome-and-trifr-stats/ ).
How strange this industry that prides itself on using the word ‘professional’ when it brutalizes people as a means (https://safetyrisk.net/ends-and-means-in-safety/ ) to an outcome.
Most of the safety people I know who are sacked are thrown on the unemployment heap and when applying for jobs out of the sector have to fabricate their identity because a career in safety makes one nearly unemployable in another sector.
How interesting that the AIHS BoK doesn’t tackle this perpetual and plaguing problem for safety people being sacked for numerics. How interesting that the BoK Chapter on ethics makes no mention of this unethical climate in the industry.
I receive contact several times a month from safety people sacked because injury rates went up. The trail of harm worn by these wonderful people is very sad, zero harm indeed.
Similarly, there is nothing more immoral or unethical than rewarding safety people for a reduction in injury rates. It’s all fundamental attribution error (https://safetyrisk.net/injury-rates-and-the-danger-of-eating-sultanas/ ; https://safetyrisk.net/still-rewarding-for-injury-rates/ ). Indeed, attributing numerics to safety, creates a massive safety problem by creating arrogance in a culture that attributes safety to luck.
When the company language and discourse is zero, there is no other choice than the sack for safety people when injury rates increase.