Safety V’s The Real World
Thanks to Rob Long for sharing this news story. Robs comment: “mortal gets injured swimming and bumps head. In safety this is called the great evil and 3 inquiries and 2 forests cut down in follow up. Most mortals just get on with life. Safety thinks of Armageddon.”
Richard Branson (who knows a little about embracing risk and being savvy about it) shared a recent story on his blog (see it here). Richard was visiting the Cayman Islands. Whilst swimming with stingrays he was bitten on the forearm. He got some treatment then attended a photo shoot with other celebrities. His philosophical response: “I’m still proudly campaigning to protect rays, even if I did get kissed! Apparently it gives seven years good luck.”
On the same trip, Richard walked into a glass door at a jewellery store and received a cut about his left eye. After getting 3 stitches he went and played in a tennis tournament with the likes of Anna Kournikova!
Now imagine if Richard had received similar injuries if he was a normal working person? What would have been the outcome? Would he have been allowed to continue after some minor treatment and proceed to take even more risk? Would there be an investigation? Would new procedures have to be written? Would these activities be banned? Would Richard have been punished for making these choices and not completing the correct paperwork? Would be be branded an idiot and an unsafe risk taker?
It always amuses me to visit a site with a “perfect safety record” and spot the obvious signs of recent battle scars. Given the way that safety reacts to random and unpreventable/unpredictable incidents, with all the genius of hindsight, it is little wonder that injured workers would rather just get patched up and get on with it!