Rules Only Protect People If Everyone Follows Them

by Dave Collins · 3 comments

in Phil LaDuke,Safety Rules

Rules Only Protect People If Everyone Follows Them

By Phil La Duke – read it all here.


Thou shalt not kill. People have been using rules to protect people since man left the primordial forest and walked up right for the first time. For people some rules are sacred—they are worshipped for their own sake. For others, rules were meant to be broken. Irrespective of your view of rules, they form the foundation of society of all levels. But when we rely on rules to keep workers safe we delude ourselves into thinking that rules alone can protect workers (or anyone else, for that matter) we imperil workers, customers, vendors, and ourselves.

People don’t follow the rules. I’ve written and spoken extensively on why we don’t follow the rules ( so I won’t prattle on about the whys here. The fact that people don’t follow the rules really isn’t the problem. The real problem lies in safety professionals and Operations officials expecting people to follow really burdensome and in, many cases, stupid rules when they know that they won’t. For rules to be effective there must be a reasonable expectation of compliance.  In other words, if you know in your heart of hearts that nobody in their right mind will do what is prescribed, then irrespective of you employee handbook, it really isn’t a rule.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

pradeep kumar ms March 4, 2013 at 10:53 PM

pls send me safety rules in workshop while working

Riskex December 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM

I hear you mate, love the idea. Once told a group of safety trainees to go out and plan how to not comply with as much legislation as possible – brilliant way to get them to learn it!

George Robotham December 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

When I was in the Army they told me it is essential to know the rules thouroughtly, that is the only way you will have a chance of getting away with breaking them

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