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(re safety differently ADQ4.b)

(published 21/2/18).


4. At paragraph four, page. 22., it says safety differently wants “to move beyond the sector’s default setting of linear thinking and analysis of cause and effect”.



b). What alternative way of “thinking” about cause and effect is John Green and safety differently advocating?


Clear from responses elsewhere (see here for instance), the prevailing paradigm has nothing to do with Heinrich. The prevailing paradigm, in place since the late 1980s at least, is based on multiple causation theory (Petersen 1971); a fact the cited Professors, not least Dekker (Arnold 2009), are fully aware of.

On that point alone, the Health and Safety At Work article is mis-leading.

Also clear from responses (see here or here for instance), and despite talk of a ‘new gospel’ and paradigm shift, safety differently (complete with buzz words like circular causality, but religiously clinging on to latent conditions and emergence) displays the classic symptoms of paradigm paralysis. In short, John Green’s alternative way of thinking about cause and effect is, unfortunately, the old


Interim Comment:

Whether safety differently is needed, or just safety properly, is a question that has already been posed elsewhere. Either way, Boardrooms and Directors should exercise caution.

c.10,000 statistically inevitable worker deaths will occur over the next 12 months in North America and Europe. Where one of those deaths relates to a UK business that is found to have inadequate safety processes or failed to heed warnings and take proper, tangible, defensible steps, the stance of the Courts is now well known. Consequently, some might see it as brave (if not fool hardy) to engage in experimental guesswork whilst, as Vincent & Amalberti (2016) put it, an adhered to “core of rock solid procedures” is clearly absent. Furthermore, an individual (e.g. manager, senior officer) with legal responsibilities relating to such failures can, of course, be held liable long after she/he has left the relevant business.



The Institute of Industrial Accident Investigators. All rights reserved.