Originally posted on September 24, 2020 @ 6:22 PM
How easy to let that word ‘professional’ roll off your tongue, when you are not in a profession! How easy to brand something that it is not and then wonder why people walk away in droves (icare-workers-compensation-insider-speaks-out). How easy to spruik zero harm when it’s the opposite (https://safetyrisk.net/dark-waters-the-true-story-of-dupont-and-zero/; https://safetyrisk.net/selective-harm-for-rio-tinto/). This is the challenge for the professions.
Recently Ross Gittens demonstrated what happens to an industry that leaves people out of the equation. Following the Royal Commission into the Financial sector we now know that Economics isn’t a profession, it’s an industry of amateurs who place greed above the well being of persons.
We have heard recently from this bunch of amateurs about why the Economy is more important that the health of persons. Great to recommend that your parents are expendable for a few dollars!
One cannot claim the label ‘profession’ unless the moral and ethical focus is on the well being of persons, the community and the common good. Ethics is the beginning determining if something is professional. This is why the chapter on Ethics in the AIHS BoK is at chapter 38.3 and even then is not an Ethic of Safety or Risk (https://safetyrisk.net/the-aihs-bok-and-ethics-check-your-gut/).
You can tell if a group is professional by its Discourse. Discourse with an Uppercase ‘D’ is very different from discourse with a lowercase ‘d’. Discourse is about the power and social politics in language whilst discourse is about everyday language-in-use. You can read further in the difference between Discourse and discourse HERE>>>>>
So, just look at the language of a group (eg. economics, safety, risk) then examine the Discourse (power hidden in the language) and you will often see a smoke screen for unprofessional conduct and an unethical Discourse about dehumanizing persons, brutalism and viciousness masked as ‘good’ and ‘care’. For example, have a look at the AIHS BoK content and see what the focus is on. Look at all the chapters and examine the discourse and Discourse. The major focus is on objects not people. Have a look at safety differently discourse and see where the focus is and most often its Discourse is measurement and systems. The same applies for BBS, Human Factors or resilience engineering. None of these are focused on helping the well being of persons.
So, in order to claim the brand of ‘professional’ one has to have a focus on what makes one professional not just the branding and spin of professional.
DOWNLOAD PAPER: Professional Challenges for the Safety Industry
For Safety, an Ethic of Risk should be foundational, front and centre but it is not. And without a focus on helping (never discussed in the AIHS BoK), community building (never discussed in the AIHS BoK), care (never discussed in the AIHS BoK) and personhood (never discussed in the AIHS BoK) it obviously joins the ranks of Gitten’s economists.
The recent zero survey conducted by SPoR (https://safetyrisk.net/take-the-zero-survey/) with over 900 participants shows that one of the greatest challenges for this industry is being ethical with data (never discussed in the AIHS BoK). At the moment results show 85% of safety people think that zero causes dishonesty with data. Ah zero (never discussed in the AIHS BoK), the global mantra (http://visionzero.global/node/6) for unethical conduct.
Until Safety addresses its fixation with numerics, objects and metrics (https://safetyrisk.net/its-always-a-number/) it is never going to become professional.