Tag Archives: adaptive safety

Emergence of Safety-III

Reductionism
During engineering school in the late 1960s I was taught to ignore friction as a force and use first order approximate linear models. When measuring distance, ignore the curvature of earth and treat as a straight line. Break things down into its parts, analyze each component, fix it, and then put it all back together. In the 1990s another paradigm coined Systems Thinking came about we … Continue Reading ››

Love safety

normal_Love-locks_on_Arts_brige_in_Paris_-_03As a symbol for their unbreakable love, couples began attaching so called ‘love locks’ to the bridge Pont des Arts, in Paris. They would write their initials on the lock, fasten it to the railing, and throw the key into la Seine flowing underneath. Over time, the number of locks on the bridge became in the tens of thousands, with as many keys slowly dissolving at the bottom of the river. Last year, one of the railings couldn’t … Continue Reading ››

Moths to a Flame

DSCF4945In a land far, far away a very long time ago someone had an idea and tried to do something different with safety.

For my sins I started my career in safety working for the UK government. To be fair this was back in the 70s and 80s when the 1974 Robens inspired Act was starting to be felt and the proposed legislation on major hazard sites would see the end of the prescriptive nature … Continue Reading ››

Safetydifferentlydifferently?

Ron Gantt and I recently exchanged some emails with questions and ideas about what safety differently is. I post part of the conversation below, hoping to hear from readers about their take on what safety differently means are at and might go.   On 3 Dec 2014, at 12:54 am, Ron Gantt wrote: Hi Daniel,   I’ve been thinking about a potential post after an email discussion with Zinta about change and how much easier it is to define what we’re changing from than it is to define what we’re changing … Continue Reading ››

Lean, Green Safety Machine – Part 1

cambodiaWith spring (March to May) in Afghanistan comes the fighting season. As the mountain snow recedes, Afghani tribesmen are once again able to move around the mountains and through the mountain passes. Traditionally the tribesmen have used the improved conditions of the fighting season to settle blood feuds and harass invading forces. In the current conflict the target of the tribesmen’s wrath has been the coalition forces and those Afghanis who support them. As the 2010 fighting … 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 ››

Safety journeys: Are we there yet?

file0001207248003There is a lot of talk about safety journeys these days. During a recent conference workshop, attendees were asked to mark where their organisations were along a ‘safety culture maturity scale’. Equipped with this ‘knowledge’ from asking ‘where are we now?’ and ‘where do we want to be?’ people could allegedly analyse the gap. But also, many managers and decision-makers make frequent use of ‘safety journey’ in explaining current and future developments. The journey is of course … Continue Reading ››

What if we got it wrong?

file1851274688166People don’t come to work to be safe. They come to work to work. Or as a project manager once told me: -I probably spend about 50% of my day thinking about behaviours and safety. You probably close to 100% of yours. But what about the guys doing the job? We remind them of safety messages and what we think is important during pre-start meetings and toolbox talks. But then what? Then they’re off, focusing on other things. … Continue Reading ››

Let’s talk about success

spanner2Look at the man in the picture to the right. He is fastening a bolt using a spanner. To get more torque he has done what is common practice in industry – he has taken a piece of pipe to extend the handle, this is often called a cheater bar. Put differently, he has adapted the standard that was provided to him. When everything is going well we’d like to believe that it is because organisations … Continue Reading ››

Sheep boosting

file0001889907229One morning in early June this year, a Swedish sheep farmer discovered that 21 of his sheep had been killed. The aggressor had taken only a small bite of each sheep before killing the next defenseless prey. Expertise identified the offender to be a wolf. Wolves in Sweden are frequently debated. Some suggest that wolves should be uncompromisingly hunted and 'eliminated'. This naturally upsets those advocating the necessity of biological diversity. In turn, these groups claim that the … Continue Reading ››