Book Review: Critical Mass, How One thing Leads to Another I don’t often read the work of chemists or physicists but Philip Ball is an exception. Ball applies what he knows from his Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM-only) worldview to the world of Social Psychology. It is an … [Read more...] about Book Review: Critical Mass, How One thing Leads to Another
Does Safety Have A Soul? In Chapter 1 of my latest book Envisioning Risk, Seeing, Vision and Meaning in Risk , I discuss the linguistics of ‘soul’ in art, music and movies. In the top 500 songs of all time we find endless reference to spirit, transcendence, Afterlife, soul and the … [Read more...] about Does Safety Have A Soul?
Whenever the question arises about improving the safety industry it is amazing to see what is invisibly declared off limits. Lets have safety improvement as long as no sacred rites or safety lores are questioned. Lets tinker about the edges, change the brand of cosmetics and fixate on stasis. So as … [Read more...] about Ten Ways to Improve Safety
Someone asked me the other day what was the opposite of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). An interesting question because it begs a binary answer. One might think the opposite of STEM is the Arts and Humanities but I don’t think that really captures the difference enough. When ones … [Read more...] about A Poetic Worldview
The Quantitative and Qualitative Divide in Safety Risk and safety by their evolution through Engineering and Science have now become disciplines of quantity. Unfortunately, critical human skills like: communications, listening, dialogue, understanding persons, social psychology, community, ethics, … [Read more...] about The Quantitative and Qualitative Divide in Safety
Understanding Safety Myths The term ‘mythology’ is not understood well and is associated with the idea of legend/fairy tale but that’s not its meaning. It is certainly not how myth is defined in social psychology. Mythology is really a set of beliefs supported by semiotics (symbol systems) and … [Read more...] about Understanding Safety Myths
Can There Be Other Valid Worldviews Than Safety? This is the challenge worldviews is the challenge of the unknown unknowns. How can I know another worldview, when all I know is my own? Can there be a different view of the world other than the lens I use to see it? Could it be that another worldview … [Read more...] about Can There Be Other Valid Worldviews Than Safety?
We saw the story recently of the Nazi flag being flown in Beulah Victoria. Interestingly, the etymology of the word ‘Beulah’ designates a mystical place tied to Jewish identity. The controversy over the flying of the flag demonstrates the power of symbols to stir the emotions and draw to the … [Read more...] about The Power of Symbols in Safety
I always find it fascinating when there is an increase in safety statistics or incidents that the call is always about greater vigilance, more checklists, more policing and more effort. What an amazing industry that still doesn’t know why things go wrong. Rather than question the … [Read more...] about When Things Go Wrong Let’s Do More of the Same
The Mythic Symbology of Safety One of the strange contradictions in the world of safety is between the positivist materialist paradigm that dominates the WHS curriculum/texts and the mythic symbology that dominates safety discourse about the activity of enacting safe-work. How strange that one … [Read more...] about The Mythic Symbology of Safety