The Psychology of Blaming in Safety
- An indifference to the plight of others (lack of empathy)
- Sociopathic desire to control others
- Authoritarian Personality
- A Deontological ethic
There is little doubt that blaming is the ‘sport’ of Safety (https://safetyrisk.net/when-blame-comes-easy-a-lesson-from-job/ ). When one’s worldview is ‘framed’ by the ideology of zero, counting injury rates and define safety as the control of objects, blaming confirms self-righteousness and the assumptions of the safety curriculum and the AIHS BoK on Ethics. Of course, we learn elsewhere that the wise are ‘slow to judge’ (https://www.openbible.info/topics/slow_to_judge_quick_to_forgive ).
Perhaps this is why one can’t find much across the safety literature on the nature of wisdom (https://safetyrisk.net/wisdom-based-safety/ ). Perhaps that’s why the industry of safety is so consumed with the Justice Cult and punishment. Perhaps this is why the AIHS BoK makes no mention of personhood, wisdom and dehumanisation.
Blaming confirms (https://pdodds.w3.uvm.edu/teaching/courses/2009-08UVM-300/docs/others/1998/nickerson1998a.pdf ) Safety indoctrination. Once you have been indoctrinated by Safety through mantras like ‘safety is a choice you make’ and ‘all accidents are preventable’ (https://safetyrisk.net/why-safety-isnt-a-choice-you-make/ ) the only recourse in response to events is rapid blame. Once you have been fed myths like ‘drift into failure’, ‘swiss cheese’, Reason’s definition of error and the nonsense of curves and pyramids (https://safetyrisk.net/safety-curves-and-pyramids/ ) it is an easy step to apportion rapid blame.
I find the fact that ‘Safety’ has no idea what ‘to err is human and to forgive divine’ means is an indictment on the industry (https://safetyrisk.net/to-err-is-human-to-forgive-divine/ ). Just have a look at this video of so called ‘safety experts’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnMLHjrSFJw ) with no idea of Poetics label Alexander Pope’s phrase a ‘cop out’. What Hope has this industry when such a seminar of ignorance is paraded by a peak body. This is no glib phrase by Pope but sure exposes the Justice Cult as quick as a reading of the Book of Job.
Fortunately, the court system in Australia is slow to judge and, wiser than Safety in counsel (https://vimeo.com/162493843 ).
When it comes to the tendency to rapid blame the idea of ‘chairwork’ can be helpful. Chairwork is a simple counselling method to help people ‘walk a mile’ in the shoes of others. Chairwork is an imaginative exercise to help people realise the plight of others and to ‘see’ their plight as persons. I think Safety could do with a dose of Chairwork at every incident investigation.
I’d like a dollar for every time I have been contacted by a person in the safety industry tell me that their lives have been destroyed by the Justice Cult. It is often not in the immediate nature of the event where the suffering is dished out by Safety but often in the devastating aftermath of collateral damage energized by the Justice Cult. Can you just imagine the devastation felt by the Parents of Danny Cheney to be told he ‘made a conscious choice’ (https://slideplayer.com/slide/8998323/ ) to be non-compliant! Interesting, did the Theiss investigation speak to Danny who was dead?
This is how the Justice Cult works. Starting with the nonsense and simplistic ideology behind ‘safety is a choice you make’ and ‘all accidents are preventable’ Safety is keen to seek rapid blame. The damage of these two nonsense phrases cannot be underestimated and need to be completely eradicated from the industry.