WARNING: This site contains traces of orthodox safety stuff which can adversely affect safety performance with overuse. We hope you can open your mind a just a little and spend some extra time discovering the more positive and effective people, safety and risk concepts that we much prefer sharing with you. 


Safety ‘Solutions’ Won’t Move a Hippo! Safety ‘Solutions’ Won’t Move a Hippo! So how do you move a Hippo? Well according to a kids book I read my 5 year old the other night it’s quite simple if you’re willing to learn the message. So the story goes that there is a Hippo lying on the bridge asleep and in the way. The other animals wanted to get past and to do so they had to move the Hippo. “You can’t move a Hippo if it doesn’t want to go!” said the blue and green (and very wise) parrot. So the lion decides Read the whole article here


Abby Normal Safety Abby Normal Safety Guest post by Karl Cameron What can I say, when it comes to knowledge – I am a whore. I will accept, accumulate and store knowledge from anywhere at any time and I frequently leave the filtering and testing of validity, authenticity, sufficiency and relevance, to another (much later) time. For me, the acquisition of useful information is scientific research in its most base form – the charging up blind allies to determine what is there. As a safety professional, this Read the whole article here


Cultivating ResilienceCultivating Resilience When I think of resilience one of the metaphors I would never associate with it would be engineering. Resilience is a human (social psychological), evolutionary and organic ‘way of being’. The idea of imposing a mechanistic mindset on resilience just doesn’t make sense. Humans create systems as a process of organizing and it seems odd that the safety industry so often speaks about how humans serve systems. Humans create systems to manage change, uncertainty, equivocality Read the whole article here


How to Do the Best Risk Assessment How to Do the Best Risk Assessment A risk assessment is a form of strategic planning and strategy methodology. The process attempts to think about the future by reflecting on the past. Most strategies are built upon specific beliefs about the future unfortunately, the future is unpredictable. The worst risk assessment is the one that denies the reality of unpredictability. Zero ideology and language help foster the denial of unpredictability. The best risk assessment is the one that prepares Read the whole article here


Post Graduate Safety Potato Heads Post Graduate Safety Potato Heads Current Post Grad group have completed the Grad Certificate (4 Units) in the Psychology of Risk, many going on to Post Grad Diploma and Masters. More about the course here Today we pulled out our potato heads. Good days of 'followership' and 'leading, listening, exchange and learning. Each one of us will take what we know and believe and value and share it with others and maybe make a change in the place where we work so that risk will make sense. Why Read the whole article here


Zero ‘Arm Zero ‘Arm  Potato Head Mr Safety Potato demonstrating the balancing act of “Zero Arm” with two of our awesome authors Gabrielle Carlton and Robert Sams. This photo was taken today during Unit 4 of the Social Psychology of Risk Grad Cert in the High Reliability Organisation. It is very cold Canberra at the moment but there has been warm times of learning and engagement between everyone. In a few days the students will be on Karl E. Weick overload but re-invigorated to the psychology of risk. Read the whole article here


Running of the bullsED: I thought it was ironic to hear that the guy who co-wrote the book “How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona” was gored by a bull last week! John Culvenor (from http://safedesign.wordpress.com/ ) puts the risks in perspective: Running of the bulls Posted on July 15, 2014 by John Culvenor Is running with bulls a good idea?  The Running of the Bulls website says that “Running with the Bulls in Pamplona is not safe. It is dangerous.”  It seems like a fun sport for some people and Read the whole article here


How to do a Safety Audit ProperlyI wrote this one a while ago and it encouraged some great comments. I was reminded of it by a recent comment on another article so I thought I would dust it off and put it out there again. How do a Safety Audit Properly The term “safety audit” conjures up some pretty strong feelings in most people. Many say that their perception is that a safety audit is all about finding something that they are doing wrong. But it doesn't have to be that way. The most important key to a successful safety Read the whole article here


Managing the Unexpected Ed: Ok, you’ve been asking for it – a practical workplace application of Safety and Risk Psychology Managing the Unexpected Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe published Managing the Unexpected in 2001 and brought many of the principles of the social psychology of organizing into the risk and safety world. This book should be at the top for reading for any risk and safety person, that’s if they read more than regulations. I remember reading Managing the Unexpected at the time and being Read the whole article here

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I’m just not that into safety anymore I’m just not that into safety anymore I have spoken with a number of Managers over the past few months who have argued with me that ‘safety’ in our workplaces means that we must do everything we can to control people so that they do not hurt themselves at work. These people have said to me, “we can’t let dangerous things go untouched”; “we can’t let people make choices that may lead to them being injured” and “doing everything that is reasonably practical means that we have Read the whole article here


Safety Should NOT Be About Safety We recently asked “What is Safety”? and got quite a mixed response but I think this article by Dr Rob just about nails it! A free copy of Dr Long’s latest book: “Real Risk” to the best comment below and to the best caption for what Mrs Potato Head TM is saying. Safety Should NOT Be About Safety “if your world is just about safety, then your world is too small” I often get called into organisations under some concern about safety, many see my work as something about ‘behaviors’ Read the whole article here


Human Factors Factors Human Factors Factors Someone sent me an email today with an opportunity to present on ‘human factors’ and risk. Whilst I understand the ‘human factors’ approach I don’t think it understands the social psychology of risk. The term ‘human factors’ has a focus on humans as factors within a system, design or ergonomic framework. Human factors is interested in the ‘fit’ between the human as user, the environment and the task especially the limitations of human cognition and physicality. Read the whole article here


What is Safety?

by Dave Collins · 37 comments

in Safety

What is Safety?What is Safety? The World’s Hardest Question? I've been asked to resurrect this article which did generate some interesting discussion a while back........  This article provides probably the best answer: Safety should not be about Safety Someone asked me the other day: “What is Safety”? Damn good question…….They say it is critical for most people in deciding where they go, what they buy and what they do, consciously or unconsciously. But I’ve never really thought much about Read the whole article here


Worried about workplace injuries? Worried about workplace injuries? Do you ever get stuck wondering what to say about safety, so that people find it interesting and then, take your message on board? Marie-Claire Ross is the author of Transform Your Safety Communication and she has lots of proven strategies on how to engage your workforce on safety. She is offering a free webinar to all of our clients and we’re delighted to be able to offer you a spot.  It’s called: 3 Secrets for Creating Attention Grabbing Read the whole article here


Absolute Error PreventionAbsolute Error Prevention Safety is so easy, it’s all about error prevention. Safety is so simple, it’s all about risk aversion. Whilst both of these statements appear to be true, both are wrong. Safety is not simple and is not just about error prevention or risk aversion. Indeed, binary thinking associated with both these propositions is in fact dangerous. All risk and error is not bad. Again, the binary mindset that makes things black and white, distorts the thinking and language of safety Read the whole article here


Worlds Largest Collection of Free Safety StuffWorlds Largest Collection of Free Safety Stuff I used to call myself “The Robin Hood of Safety” when I first started this blog. I collected al the safety slogans, safety pictures, risk assessment forms and safety checklists I could find and stuck ‘em all in one place. It was a big hit with all the safety officers and supervisors looking to do some basic things to improve safety. Well, things have changed a bit and things related to the psychology of safety, the people side of safety and integrating Read the whole article here


Which is the better place to learn Which is the better place to learn Ok, so which of the playgrounds below is more likely to entice kids away from their computer games and definitely more likely to encourage imagination, social interaction and risk appreciation?. Which kids will better prepared and safer when they find themselves the real world or at work? Thanks to Rob Long and Gabrielle Carlton for the photos Potato Head Playground Spud Head Playgrounds Read the whole article here


Out of your (Unconscious) MindOut of your (Unconscious) Mind I recently wrote about the importance of educating the unconscious mind (Blog - Educating the Unconscious Mind), which is the ‘mind’ where most of our decisions and judgments are made. I’ve had some good discussions with people who read the article and wanted to know more about ‘thinking’ in the unconscious mind. I’ve also had some people challenge my assertion that most of our thinking is not rational, slow, logical and methodical. It’s great that Read the whole article here


Is Complacency Evil? Is Complacency Evil? Lots of words are thrown around the safety sector with little definition. Everyone seems to know what everyone else is thinking and yet there is little clarification. The word ‘culture’ is perhaps the best example of an overused but under-defined word in safety. Most people when they talk about culture end up talking about systems, leadership and behaviour yet, these are only parts of the culture equation. Another word that is thrown about is ‘complacency’. The word Read the whole article here


Stuck with how to change safety behaviour? If you’re tired of staff finding safety boring and not listening to safety messages, you’re going to love this FREE webinar. Marie-Claire Ross is the author of Transform Your Safety Communication and she has some really innovative methods to help companies avoid costly accidents by getting their workforce to listen to safety information. She is offering a complimentary webinar to all of our clients and we’re delighted to be able to offer you Read the whole article here

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