All posts by Kelvin Genn

If your car dashboard was run by a safety performance system

  I recently pondered that if your car dashboard performance indicators, fuel level, speed, and oil pressure, operated under the mechanisms of a safety performance system, what would be the result? Over the past two decades, safety resourcing, focus, and intervention have been subjugated by performance management dogma, contending that “safety” can only be present as an expression of its measurement in a zero harm paradigm. Within this paradigm, and my observations across numerous … Continue Reading ››

Disruptive Safety

concrete plantRecently I was studying Google’s management philosophy where I was struck by one of their principles: “make mistakes well”. On initial presentation, this would seem to be counter intuitive, yet it is hard to dismiss when examining the success of the Google enterprise. Surely, “making mistakes well”, is an oxymoron? Google has been a disruptive technology, that has not been constrained by rules. Its technology and business methods have underpinned a complete change of state for the … Continue Reading ››

Walk or talk?

P4010080I’m not sure whether it was my presence as a corporate representative, but the group ended up unusually large. It comprised our site safety manager, the client’s safety manager, the client’s client’s safety manager, and the site superintendent. We must have reached a critical mass because the site manager joined as well, and so did two other visitors from corporate. The task ahead was to do a Safety Walk. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a … Continue Reading ››

Can you handle the truth?

file000817447890Safety today has arrived at a place where we can’t handle to truth, we are not interested in the science, nor are we informed by evidence. We have become religious zealots. Anyone that challenges the dogma, is subjected to hysteria and condemnation. We collect data that has been corrupted through performance incentives and for the most part we base of our actions and conclusions on emotion that is suffocated and cloaked in zero harm rhetoric. When we look … Continue Reading ››

Safety without borders

file000926134998Communication has become a catch cry for both the safety profession and regulators, yet it seems that significant barriers exist from multiple stakeholders to prevent or discourage real communication. Professor Sidney Dekker challenged us with his writings on “Just Culture”, to build organisational practices that encourage and foster open communication both for success and failure, that foster broad and honest information exchanges. The computer industry has been a leader in building active participation in information sharing, most prominently … Continue Reading ››