‘Daniel – Worldwide, “construction” is vilified because it has so many accidents. The focus is on analysing every accident to find out what went wrong and then fix it. I believe that this is the wrong approach. Given that in construction people and hazards are in a state of constant motion and close proximity, the question should be ‘why do we have so few accidents?’
It was the first email I received through the safetydifferently.com contact form. It was from Andrew Townsend. The correspondence eventuated in Andrew writing a post for the website: You can have your cake and eat it, one of the most commented posts so far.
After that Andrew and I Skyped frequently. To share the frustrations of dealing with a world in which people are seen as the biggest danger to achieving safe outcomes, but also the joys of seeing some progress or possibilities to do safety differently. Andrew would typically call to enthusiastically explain some of his latest insights from crunching safety stats. Always clear minded and with an insatiable hunger to learn more and to see the world anew.
Having only a few productive hours per day (due to Parkinson’s disease) he nevertheless found time to put his thinking into a book – Safety can’t be measured: An Evidence-based Approach to Improving Risk Reduction.
In late September, only a couple of weeks after the official launch of his book, Andrew Townsend died at home as the result of a heart attack. A brilliant thinker, a beautiful voice, a humanist, and a fellow traveler in doing safety differently has left us. He is sorely missed.