The Safety Policeman

by Dave Collins on June 8, 2013

in Workplace Safety



The Safety Policeman “the safety profession as others know it”

safety professionalGreat Discussion just started by Wayne Harris on the LinkedIn Group: Work Health Safety (OHS) Leadership for All (Australia):

Since its Saturday, I thought I would start the weekend with a bit of humour. I was talking yesterday with some senior business leaders and during the discussion the term “safety policeman” came up several times. It was interesting to hear their views on what they unfortunately believe is the typical safety professional; so I have written words below to describe their overall misconception. (A little amount of artistic licence was taken, but I hope I get the message across).

So here we go the safety profession as others know it!

The Safety Policeman We have all come across them, the so called “Safety Police” the individual who for some reason adopts a typical walkabout inspection mentality who believe they are they are there to find safety problems and direct people down the path of safety compliance. For the first time, we expose the un-secret society within the safety industry known as the “the Safety Police” or what some refer to as the dinosaurs within. Let’s start at the beginning; after many minutes of unrelated training, the safety cop is let loose on the unexpected workforce, they are guided by a holy light of passion and desire to end all accidents.

The safety cop adorns themselves with the latest personal protective equipment and walks the beat with pride, believing they are respected for their continual vigilance and six sense ability to detect hazard and come up with solutions. In addition they have a unique ability to survive on creating as many tick box forms in a day, and the creation of endless number of charts and frequency rate figures which are never understood or used by anyone else within an organisation.

At the same time, many groups within the organisation observe a "code of silence" in which workers protect their co-workers and avoid telling the safety police the truth; this results in the safety cop being isolated and out of touch both at the ground level and with senior management. However everyone will always greet the safety police with joyful charm and civility, because at the end of the day we can always blame them for failing to keep us safe.

End of Story

See it here: The Safety Policeman “the safety profession as others know it”

  • Glen

    The last 10 years of my career summed up in 3 paragraphs.
    I laughed out loud at the accuracy.

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