Tag Archives: empathy

Just culture: Who are we really afraid of?

When we think about just culture, we usually think about accidents and incidents, associated ‘honest mistakes’ and ‘negligence’ (by whatever name), as well as official responses to these, at company and judicial level. The notion of just culture is driven partly by fear; fear of being judged and blamed, especially fear of being blamed unfairly. The fear is felt most strongly by operational staff, who are at the sharp end of organisations and have sometimes faced disciplinary … Continue Reading ››

A Day In The Life Of

Sneakers on a Pier3Recently I was at a chemical plant doing an assessment of the management system and “culture” of the site. The corporate safety group was alarmed by a spike in injuries at the plant over the last year and wanted an outside opinion as to what was wrong that was leading to all these injuries. This mindset is common. After all, failure must be caused by bad inputs – i.e. all these injuries mean that … Continue Reading ››

Empathy for the Devil

devilThe other night I attended a meeting of safety practitioners. This is your typical monthly meeting that local chapters of safety societies have – where we get together to network, eat typically mediocre food (admittedly, I’m a picky eater), and hear a presentation on some topic of interest to the safety industry. This particular presentation focused on an insider from the state regulatory body exposing the flaws in the current regulatory structure. The advertisement for the presentation … Continue Reading ››

Growing into uncertainty

ronsGo through a little mental exercise with me – think about yourself 10 years in the future. What will your interests be? Who will your friends be? Where will you be working? What kind of person will you be? Now think about who you were 10 years ago and compare that person to who you are now. Chances are you are quite different than you were a decade ago. However, if you compare the results from looking backwards … Continue Reading ››

Heraith

file0001090917330I am just about to publish a book on safety. Many of my volunteer reviewers around the globe have commented that is very little about me in it and ask why I write the way I do. I will dodge the requests for an in depth analysis of my psyche and answer with one word ‘heraith’ (pronounced ‘here-eye-th’). Heraith is a Welsh word that originally meant a longing for one’s mother country but has come to mean a … Continue Reading ››

Risky empathy

if you want to understand riskI saw this poster in an airport some time ago. It is an advert for an insurance company and shows a person in a helicopter with a note, "One thing, if you want to understand risk, you need to get out from behind your desk".  How connected are safety specialists with operational staff and the operational environment, where the day-to-day safety is created, to understand the operational world? How much of our … Continue Reading ››