Hi, I’m Dave and I am a Safety Crusader……..
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When I started this blog, six year ago, I was a self-confessed Safety Crusader. You can still see the remnants and residue of that time in the older articles about safety slogans, compliance and procedures. Most of those articles have now been assigned to my alter ego, Barry Spud. I haven’t deleted them because they are, sadly, still the most popular.
I was seduced into a world of zero harm, binary thinking, checklists, iphone apps, PPE, blame, ignorance, SWMS, pyramids, LinkedIn discussions and online inductions. I experienced considerable dissonance, knowing that it simply wasn’t working and thinking that there just had to be a better way. I was a qualified Engineer which caused even more dissonance as I was much more into people than objects and systems like many others in my profession.
My lifeline was the late George Robotham and Dr Rob Long. They started writing articles. George wrote about getting fair dinkum and realistic about safety, Rob wrote about the social psychology of risk. They quickly inspired others like Rob Sams who wrote articles like “I’m Just Not That Into Safety Anymore” Rob S was kind of like a balance of George and Dr Rob – the “Safety Whisperer” or “The Grey Man” I affectionately called him. Other awesome authors, too numerous to mention, quickly followed.
So began my transformation, my unlearning traditional safety journey, out of the Safety Crusaders Abyss and into a world that was starting to make more sense. The journey was highlighted by speaking about this at Dr Rob’s book launch – see “Safety Career Highlight”
I’ve been clean now for a few years but still have a long way to go. I still get pangs, cravings and withdrawals and have to catch myself before I start quoting The Act. But, getting emails and meeting people, at the events I would rather hang out at now, who say they were once a Safety Crusader but have discovered a way that makes more sense (like wearing your underwear on the inside) is totally inspiring and gives me confidence that there is a bright future for safety and risk.
Public confessions are scary but it feels bloody good to do it. I challenge you now to confess your past sins, admit you had a problem and share where you are at on your journey – if you have actually read this far then I know you are on one.