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DIFFORD’S RESPONSE

(re safety differently ADQ2. a) – c.)

 

2. At paragraph two page. 21., the article cites UCATT as saying Laing O’Rourke’s “new focus on severe and fatal risks” is the result of a “philosophical journey” the company is on and will “take it away from workers interests".

 

ADQ2.

a). How will the “new focus” be detrimental to “workers”?

b). Why is the initiative referred to as a “journey”?

c). Regarding the word “philosophical”, what philosophy underlies this journey?

 

ADQ2.a).

Whilst UCATT’s sentiments are, importantly, shared by many, question 2.a. is left more fully to those who will address Chairman Dell’s other questions. For now, Amalberti (a writer upon whom the cited professors rely heavily) has warned about “event-driven”,  “over-reactivity” in the aftermath of ‘crisis’ (Amalberti 2001). For Vincent & Amalberti (2016), the primary and over-riding requirement in all environments (including those that contain highly proceduralised teams, highly adaptive teams, or both) is for a “core of rock solid procedures that are closely adhered to”. Without the latter, Laing O’Rourke’s philosophical journey could be just one of the “irrational consequences” of its accidents (Amalberti 2001).  

 

Also pertinent here, we have elsewhere seen yet another erroneous rejection of Heinrich’s (1941) common cause hypothesis. As with the ‘old’ philosophy, the ‘new’ believes that the causes of near-miss and minor injury accidents are different to those of major injury accidents and disaster (Dekker 2014). If, as was suggested elsewhere, that belief is wrong, not only will workers continue to suffer but, so too will members of the public, the environment and organisations. Consequently, some may need to take stock of the reality exposed by our various discussions since the “new focus on severe and fatal risks” will be fruitless given that nothing has actually changed.

 

 

ADQ2.b).

As with similar initiatives, little, if anything, is prescribed. Consequently, with destination also unknown, ‘journey’ is an appropriate description.  

 

ADQ2.c).

From the other discussions, the underlying philosophy is that of the ‘old paradigm’ albeit partially concealed by notions of complexity emergence and a systems perspective (more on ‘new paradigms’ and paradigms in general can be found here).  

 

 

 

 


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