The BS of BS
Every time some antiquated BS about Behavioural Safety (BS) (https://safetyrisk.net/kicking-the-behaviourism-habit/) comes out you wonder just how more backward this industry can go. Here is this antiquated theory that’s been smashed by so many as a false construct being paraded by Safety as some kind of relevant methodology. An example is the discussion here: What Is Behavioral Safety? (Workplace Examples and Strategies)
One of the essentials in BBS is to assume everything and define nothing (https://safetyrisk.net/the-curse-of-behaviourism/ ). Often these discussions involve assumptions about: error, violations, habits, consciousness, memory, knowledge, situational factors, judgment and mistakes. None of these are defined and at no time is the nature of the human unconscious ever considered. In BS many complex concepts are just wielded out as if all these things are simple and understood. It’s easy in BBS, just state some naïve BS assertion and assume it has one meaning for all, its common sense. Let’s take for example this idea of ‘slips in judgment’.
What is a slip in judgment? Is this a moment when rational thinking changes to irrational thinking? Is this aRational thinking? Is this when humans use heuristics to make judgments? Is this the dialectic between the unconscious and conscious? Is this when something intended is not realized? Is this when something imagined is not realized? Is this daydreaming, lucid dreaming? And what is this ‘slip’? Is this some emergence, failure, drift, change, interruption, disruption or accident? And what if a slip proves advantageous, is that now not an error? All of these and many more questions lay behind the naïve simplistic discussion in BS, which of course makes it BS.
Similar assumptions are a made about definitions of safety and unsafety, unintentionality and habituality.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if BS sought to explain intentionality (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/285199810_The_Significance_of_Intentionality/link/59965e750f7e9b91cb0963b6/download) or habit (https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-97529-0 ; https://safetyrisk.net/understanding-habit-habituation-and-change/ )? Such complex notions of human decision making such as intentionality and habit are just glossed over in BS whilst at the same time confessing to ‘imperfect systems, fallibility and luck’. Oh yes, we want to eat our BS cake without any BS in it.
Why is it that Safety is attracted to this simplistic delusional BS stuff? Of course, BS imagines that behaviours can be measured, which they cannot. More so, thinking, ethics, motivations, emotions, perception and attitudes cannot be measured either, but BS never talks about these things. BS has absolutely no idea about the complexities of motivation, perception or the human unconscious and just imagines that humans are the sum of inputs and outputs.
Then comments like this ‘Human error is not a cause of failure – it is the effect or the symptom of a deeper-rooted issue’, hmmm. And what issue would this be? When you are in BS world you can BS about BS as if decision making is simple and behaviours are evidence of thinking.
Then this – ‘Think about the influencing factors that cause the human to undertake that error’. Hmmm, I can think of over 500 social, cognitive and unconscious influences that BS doesn’t even know of or discuss. How wonderful to have one’s head buried in the BS sand in blissful ignorance in BS delusion (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-naivety-and-the-delusions-of-kiss/) as if humans are the sum of inputs and outputs.
Of course BS loves BS language and discourse such as: mistakes, errors, violations and error but has no explanation of the driving dynamics of human decision making. What makes a fallible human tick? Why do humans do what they do? What is the human unconscious and what drives human ‘being’? Nup, it’s all about behaviours, because these are easy to punish.
Just remember don’t ask any tough or critical questions of BS, that would upset the BS applecart. And so BS now fills that applecart not with apples but more BS to prove its own assumptions and simplistic worldview and when nothing changes just retreats back to the BS (big stick) for more BS about BS!