One of the grand myths projected by the zero vision cult is that there can be no other ethical goal. The supposition is, according to the binary assumption of the core question ‘how many people do you want to harm today’ that zero can be the only ethical answer. If you don’t answer ‘zero’ then you must desire injury and this is unethical. Of course, the assumption of the question hinges on an immature binary logic that is loaded in the question itself. The best response to this dumb question is: ‘why do you ask dumb binary questions’ or ‘I don’t answer dumb questions’.
This assertion that zero can be the only ethical goal is absurd the opposite is the case. The dumb binary question is framed on the assumption that there is only one answer. The truth is zero is the most unethical of goals. A goal that assumes perfection as possible, denies fallibility, asserts perfectionism and anchors to a number can only ever be unethical.
Let’s look at two results from the recent zero survey .
· We see that only 3% denied the statement ‘Human are fallible, Mortal and the world is random’
· And 94% of respondents affirmed that ‘zero causes dishonesty in managing safety’
So, here is the problem. Zero drives unethical and unprofessional behaviour.
If professionalism requires integrity, honesty and transparency then zero makes these impossible. Indeed, zero must hinder the industry from ever becoming professional.
So we now know that this assertion that zero is ethical is completely false. Indeed it creates unethical behaviour and inhibits vision and professionalism.
Zero ideology hinges on the denial of fallibility in contradiction to 97% of the industry and creates denial such as is evidenced in the silence of the AIHS Bok on Ethics (https://safetyrisk.net/the-aihs-bok-and-ethics-check-your-gut/). Here we have in the BoK Chapter on Ethics as some kind of asserted guide to Ethics for the industry and there is no mention of the global mantra of zero (http://visionzero.global/node/6). And all safety associations are signed up to it.
So the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2021 (https://ww1.issa.int/world-congress2021) has zero front and centre. How interesting that the global congress in zero continues to promotes this unethical goal. Of course neither can be no vision or thought leadership in zero as the congress asserts. No wonder people are so alienated throughout this industry that tears itself apart via this delusional unethical ideology.
Won’t it be grand to see the AIHS host the 2022 Congress in promoting this unethical mantra whilst at the same time asserting it is professional and ethical.
Rob long says
Same with the nonsense zero leadership thing, there can be no leadership or vision in zero. Delusional
Resources Safety and Health Queensland also suffers from bilateral anacusis
“Zero harm” multiplies zero reporting divided by zero learning.
Rob long says
Well said Ray. What a shame the AIHS and NSCA are not listening.
Mark Perrett says
Great article, Rob. Zero is indeed unethical and the pressures to achieve it lead to extremely unethical behaviours that are detrimental to safety. It results in under reporting, false reporting, and low psychological safety. We know what that leads to; more people hurt.
Rob Long says
Spot on Mark. The disconnect between so called leaders in safety and people who actually do the work on the ground could not be more profound. As such the associations only serve to alienate people.
Our peak safety body that allegedly provides a collective voice for the profession and advocates with courage on policy which improves legislation, regulation and standards via its cohorts of fawning sycophants is part of the problem.
The professional certification scheme merely enables participants to drink its brand of Kool Aid and provides the one trick dog and pony show with a lucrative revenue stream to protect its fiefdom. Much like the construction industry white card, it will degenerate into a bureaucratic displacement activity and will not significantly reduce the associated risks.
If any delusional bloggers are bamboozled by the multi-syllable words, the following link may assist: