Rules of Safety Spudology

Rules of Safety Spudology

Just over 12 months ago we coined the term “Safety Spuds” and “Safety Potatoes” as a way to portray and highlight two distinct personalities, styles and approaches of Safety Professionals. Safety Spuds were represented by the fictional safety crusader, Barry Spud (see Rob Sams recent interview with Barry) who inspired several satirical articles ( see Safety Satire).

Some, understandably,  saw this as silly and childish and quickly dismissed the notion with a pffft – others picked up on the semiotics of the Mr Potato Head model and saw how reframing can help us to look at things with a new perspective and see things that previously may have been clouded and less obvious.  These terms have now become part of the vernacular in many workplaces and networks but we thought that the meaning in the “exformation” (all the shared body of knowledge which is not explicitly used when people communicate)  may have been lost over time. So, thanks to Dr Rob Long, here is a quick list to assist.

For more information see:

Potato Head Risk and Safety

Simple Tips on How to Improve Your Safety Inductions

Rules of Safety Spudology

  1. Distrust others, everyone is an idiot in safety except me
  2. Save others from themselves, Root out and punish all error
  3. Every complex question has a simple black and white answer
  4. Set unachievable goals
  5. Maintain humans as immortal and infallible
  6. Tell don’t listen
  7. Spy and catch out, power is good
  8. Chase behaviours not context
  9. See others as objects
  10. Collect checklists


  1. IMG_0621Switch noses and smell the roses
  2. Tackle rather than tame problems
  3. Ask open questions and listen
  4. See others as subjects
  5. Get better eyes, look and learn
  6. Know you are one peel from a spud
  7. Inside every potato is an unconscious other
  8. Make safety no priority
  9. Black and white mix as grey
  10. There is no learning without risk (see blog header)

Do you have any thoughts? Please share them below