Paper tigers

Paper tigers

Interesting post by John Green  on the Safety Differently Blog. As the late great George Robotham said in Bureaucracy and Paperwork in OHS : “I believe bureaucracy and paperwork is strangling innovation and progress in OHS. Overly complex systems are being used and people give up because it is too much like hard work.”

People often blame the regulator for the current state of systems and paperwork whereas often its more a problem of how they are interpreted – if someone could point out where it say that systems must be huge and convoluted and driven by mountains of paperwork, I would very much appreciate that!

Another related article worth revisiting is this one by Rob Sams: Flooding is dangerous and I don’t mean the water: Take a second to think about the amount of safety information and paperwork at your workplace. You’ll think of procedures, of training records, risk assessments, incident reports, the list goes on. All this information that we expect people to recall at an instant and use when they make decisions and judgements so many times throughout their work day.


Anyway, back to the article. Here is an excerpt:

file0001384040598I am constantly amused and perturbed by the unintentional irony that many safety professionals surround themselves with when discussing issues of our profession and the paradoxes they create. So much so that I decided to do a little social experiment of my own. Certainly not on the scale of Facebook but interesting none the less. I had the opportunity to interview a number of candidates for senior safety roles and decided that I would base my questions  around the paradoxes that arise in the world of industrial safety.

I was particularly interested in the defence, by the safety professional, of the “system”. That labyrinth and maze of policy, procedure and process that is used to guide the business in its every day operations and to protect the organisation from outside attack. I thought that I would be blunt about this and asked the following question; READ MORE

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