From onions to explosions – the context of risk

It’s been an interesting week Down Under. A brief glance at the news would lead you to the idea that going underground into an unstable, potentially explosive environment is safe, but eating a sausage and onions in the wrong order is dangerous. Make sense? No? Didn’t think so. The first part of this puzzle started…

Where do leaders learn about safety?

Why is it, after many years of discussion around the benefits of leading indicators over lagging, most companies (including major, international, industry-leading ones) still have injury rates as their headline safety metrics? Why, after investigation of numerous catastrophic accidents highlighting the inadequacies of procedures, do most businesses continue to focus on prediction, rather than resilience?…

The difference between ‘desk’ and ‘doing’

This week I was talking to an operations team to get their views on the historical approach taken to safety and how we can achieve successful outcomes moving forward. These types of discussions always take a little while to warm up and about half way through the conversation one of the team made the following…

Challenging the Safety Quo – reviews

Health and Safety at Work Magazine – July 2018 “This is a book intended to make you think and it provides an opportunity to do some reassessing. It is an excellent read and superb value for money.” For the full review, click here Mind the Risk – Carsten Busch May 2018 Highly recommended! “As far…

Skin in the Game

I have just started reading Skin in the Game, the latest book by Nassim Taleb. As with his other books, Taleb is extrapolating from his financial trading background to life in general, via a healthy helping of the mathematics and philosophy of risk. One of the (I assume) unintended consequences of this is a striking…

Stop doing, start being

First published on Safety Differently A little while ago, I participated in a workshop for CEOs discussing health and safety matters. We did the usual workshop thing of breaking into table discussions and feeding back to the group in time-honoured fashion. It is relatively rare to bring together such a large group of influencers, so…

Book review

The New Zealand health and safety magazine, Safeguard, published a book review of Challenging the Safety Quo in the latest issue. You can check out Safeguard at http://www.safeguard.co.nz . There are some free articles, but the review is behind a pay wall so, with the editorial permission of the esteemed Peter Bateman, I have reproduced…