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
The idea of poetics stems back to Aristotle and denotes (https://www.iep.utm.edu/aris-poe/) experiences and non-technique (Ellul) focused modes of knowing and thinking (namely STEM). Poetry is one form of poetics but any form of non-technical expression and experience defines what it is to be … [Read more...] about The Poetics of Risk
So much about the safety industry is about wrong thinking. The STEM-only worldview has us convinced that good safety is about rationality and cognition. This worldview has us convinced in typical binary framing that the emotions and rationality are opposites. Yet this is not how we live. This … [Read more...] about Wrong-Headed Safety
We all know the saying ‘you can’t see the forest for the trees’ meaning, when you are so deep in something you can’t see what you are in. The saying also captures the dynamic of immersion, of being so deeply committed to something that it takes on a life of its own, on other words it becomes an … [Read more...] about Safety as a Knowledge Culture
The Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) is not just a theory about how people make decisions and enact those decisions. SPoR is a way of thinking about work and how all work is social and psychological. SPoR is a very practical way of understanding why people do what they do and helps leaders and … [Read more...] about What Does SPoR Do?
We know from child development that everything that is learned by doing becomes committed to body memory. From as young as three months children commit actions to muscle memory and this makes actions fast and efficient. When an action becomes a ritual, repetitive, routine and habitual, consciousness … [Read more...] about Why Safety Isn’t a Choice You Make
One of the by-products of STEM-only thinking in safety is the taboo of consciousness. You won’t find this challenging issue being discussed anywhere in the industry. How strange, because if there was any one subject that should be of critical importance to this industry it would be about conscious … [Read more...] about The Challenge of the Consciousness Taboo
One of the great anxieties about Safety is the lack of control. If there was a favourite word for the safety industry, this would be it - controls. This is what attracts Safety to the language of numerics and mechanistic worldviews. Even when it transfers to an interest to neuroscience, psychology … [Read more...] about And the Innovation is? More Controls…..
All humans select metaphors and metonymies to form coherent systems in terms of which they conceptualize experience. In safety the predominant grammar is mechanistic anchored to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Even if one claims in safety some source in social science … [Read more...] about STEM Safety in Drag
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