Safety Wars

The US election is currently stumbling towards some sort of eventual conclusion with accusations flying around based far more on existing, entrenched positions than on any set of rational observations and facts. If this sounds familiar to safety people, it may be because the whole world seems to be moving in that direction, or itContinue reading “Safety Wars”

Schrodinger’s Safety

There has been criticism recently of the decision made by emergency services in response to the tragic eruption on Whakaari/White Island in New Zealand. Some local pilots returned to the island to attempt rescue, while emergency services didn’t because of the risk involved. While the local pilots showed undoubted bravery, was the criticism of emergencyContinue reading “Schrodinger’s Safety”

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 startedContinue reading “From onions to explosions – the context of risk”

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? AndContinue reading “Where do leaders learn about safety?”

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 followingContinue reading “The difference between ‘desk’ and ‘doing’”

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 asContinue reading “Challenging the Safety Quo – reviews”

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 applicability toContinue reading “Skin in the Game”

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 . 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 it below: Craig MarriottContinue reading “Book review”

Proud ignorance

I spend much of my professional life trying to get people to acknowledge and accept complexity – people who have spent their whole career being fed the lie that safety is simple. As if anything that involves people could ever be straightforward. The problem with treating a problem as simple is that you tend toContinue reading “Proud ignorance”