Conforming and Questioning in Safety

  Cass Sunstein’s tidy little book Conformity (2019) raises many issues that people in safety need to think about. The book starts by discussing the many social influences that affect decision making, demonstrating that the simplistic ideas of BBS and zero are nonsense. I have mapped many of these social influences here as a free …

The Intelligence of the Emotions

  Martha Nussbaum writes beautifully about the Intelligence of the Emotions in ‘Upheavals of Thought’ (2001). When we take the human unconscious seriously we seek to understand the nature of the emotions and the part they play in human judgment and decision making. Demonizing the emotions (https://safetyrisk.net/emotions-are-not-the-adversary/ ) in ‘head-in-sand-safety’ simply creates the most warped …

Risk vs Hazard vs Safety

The never ending debate over the difference between a risk and a hazard………..and what is Safety? The poster, courtesy of Dr Rob Long from SPoR, very succinctly and effectively defines each, perhaps slightly differently to what you may have thought or heard before. You wont see words like faith and imagined used very often in …

Looking Forward, Looking Back

  This cute little song by Slim Dusty lays out the ultimate challenge for Risk and Safety. So much of what characterizes Safety is about looking backward. Counting data, LTIs, TRIFR and counting lead indicators (positive activity) all focus on the past as if these are an indicator of the future. Most safety people I …

The Allure of Submission

  This is the title of a good piece by McManus in Quillette (4.9.19). The perspective of McManus comes from Social Psychology and the Frankfurt School. The risk and safety world ought to be concerned about the allure of submission because compliance and submission are not always healthy for organisations and workplaces. The seduction of …