Selling Out Safety
I looked at this promotion from IOSH and continue to despair for an industry with no vision (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/envisioning-risk-seeing-vision-and-meaning-in-risk/ ).
There is no leadership in ‘behavioural science’, behaviourism is not science but rather a toxin in any culture. Humans are not the sum of inputs and outputs and yet Safety delights in this theory that is nearly 100 years old. Why? Because the key to this view in safety is manipulating objects, telling people what to do, burdening them with paperwork and policing compliance. You can read more on the curse of behaviourism here:
Then once you get past the opening mythological headline comes this affirmation:
‘The way we approach safety, health and wellbeing has to change’.
Wow, where is this going? Wouldn’t it be great if IOSH had some vision of what needs to change to humanise safety. But alas no.
There answer to this affirmation is not meaningful change but rather marketing. Oh yes, that’s right marketing? We should take a leaf out of the marketing toolbox because that it how safety can improve performance. OMG. As if marketing is some kind of answer, if anything marketing is the problem.
Apparently, the problem in safety isn’t the bullying, mental health generation, policing, absurd paperwork, brutalism, obsession with metrics, demonizing persons through zero, denial of fallibility or outright propaganda and lies. No the way safety needs to change is with a new sales pitch????? Let’s all behave like marketing morons.
When you have no vision this is about the best you can do. Just like all the immature and infantile ‘make safety sexy campaigns’ before it, IOSH want you to yet again launch into selling out safety:
When we look at all the dumb stuff Safety puts out, its no wonder no one is listening (https://safetyrisk.net/is-this-your-aihs/ ).
Poor old Safety, chasing pickles, meerkats (https://safetyrisk.net/meerkat-mythology-in-safety/;https://safetyrisk.net/meerkat-safety-can-it-get-more-dumb/). dumb mum’s, hazardman and sexy sofie yet never able to interrogate or tackle the basics in risk.
The answer to the opening affirmation in this IOSH propaganda is not more selling, marketing or shallow advertising. It’s not more spruiking mythology or making sexy the selling point. It’s not more engineering and science (https://safetyrisk.net/an-engineering-dreamworld/) that is needed, this is already excessive. All of this nonsense proposed by IOSH demonstrates is that Safety has no idea what it is doing and doesn’t know how to do the basics in safety: listening, helping, advising, conversing, collaborating and supporting other in tackling risk.
I have many requests at the moment across the globe for training on the basics in safety skill development. I sometimes use the iCue Diagnostic to assess these safety skills (https://safetyrisk.net/icue-diagnostic-what-is-your-risk-icue/) and most safety people get less than a 50% score. I recently got a large group to send me videos of how they engage others in discussions on risk and not one knew even the basics in how to question, develop understanding and trust, suspend agenda and maintain an open conversation.
This has been consistent in my experience across all organisations in my work in the last 20 years. Most people in safety have not a clue on the basics of engagement or how to host a conversation about risk.
Hey, but let’s not focus on the basics, lets put a mask on the pig and call it a person. Let’s sell out safety for what it isn’t. Let’s put a miniskirt on it and sell brutalism as good for you. Let’s get zero and call it ‘beyond zero’, ‘zero plus 1’, ‘1% from zero’ or whatever. All of this demonstrates is that Safety continues to have no vision or any idea of what to do. So click on the link (https://www.behaviouralsafetyservices.com/courses/iosh-certificated-behavioural-science-for-leadership-in-safety-program/) and you will discover nothing on the basics and nothing on leadership but lots on performance, lots on behaviourism and you can get a great certificate to endorse the fact that you still won’t know the fundamentals in how to engage people in leadership in risk.
Rob Long says
Sure Simon, email@example.com
simon Cassin says
Hi Dr Rob. I love the article and would like to chat and see if we can collaborate. I try and use the skills i have acquired through studying psychology and philosophy in my approach to health, safety and wellbeing. An understanding of the principal of charity, intellectual humility, ethics, epistemology, critical thinking, philosophy of science etc. If you fancy a chat let me know.