Safety First is a Joke?
It does seem that Safety People have become the butt of a lot of jokes lately. Happened to me just yesterday when, at a social function, I was asked the inevitable “so Dave what do you do?”. Before I could answer: “I’m a Risk Engineer” or “I’m a Loss Control Consultant”, my gorgeous partner, who knows when I’m squirming, jumps in and says: “Oh, Dave does Safety!”. The only line I have, rightly or wrongly, to then quell the usual barrage of smartarse comments is “Yeah but its the weekend and I can switch off”.
Imagine my surprise and delight then to wake up this morning and read Kevin Jones’ latest blog OHS needs more comedies like Safety First. Kevin highlights one of the Acts at the Melbourne Comedy Festival where “Safety Expert Tim Lock (comedian Dylan Cole) takes you through a hilarious and comprehensive Occupational Health & Safety seminar that will make you a fully qualified ‘Safe-Person’ in under an hour. You’ll learn about evacuations and what to do in an emergency, how to identify hazards and administer first aid. Put your safety first and your danger… last.” More details here
Kevin quite rightly says:
Safety First does not ridicule OHS as a concept but focuses on the idiotic, semi-informed trainers who talk about safety whilst also, often, talking shit. The humour is effective and occasionally generates discomfort for its proximity to reality. Cole’s use of PowerPoint to explain his safety triangle reflects the lack of careful thought many trainers show.
So, some questions for discussion:
- What do you say when people ask what you do?
- How do you handle any negative response?
A few related articles:
- OHS is Bullshit
- Flooding is Dangerous, and I don’t Mean the Water….
- The Lexicon of Safety Gibberish
- Safety First or Just in the Top Three?
- Safety Professionals – We Are Our Own Worst Enemies
Enjoy a little excerpt from the show where Tim Lock explains that electrical sockets are the most common form of power outlet in the workplace and must always be switched off at the wall – his “Powerpoint Presentation” – LOL: