Need(le) for change

file9851348465775In my spare time I like to make things.  I mostly sew clothes, bags and toys using secondhand fabrics.  I find inspiration from old tablecloths, vintage sheets, dresses no longer worn.  I also find inspiration from the work of others and I mostly do this through Facebook.  There is something that I have noticed about the craft community.  It is a community that consists of mostly generous people who are willing to support each other and willing to share.  It is also a community that focuses on what can be achieved, created and grown.  One of the things that is shared via Facebook is uplifting quotes.

So I decided to set myself a challenge, and it is this – select 4 quotes posted on craft pages and relate them to safety.  This is what I came up with….

‘If we wait until we’re ready we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives’ – Lemony Snicket
Things go in and out of fashion and it is no different in safety.  It wasn’t that long ago that Behavioural Based Safety (BBS) was the next big thing.  What followed was a range of approaches, initiatives and programs that organisations could implement under the banner of BBS.  The new school of thought is around adaptive safety and resilience engineering.  As an emergent idea many of us are waiting to see how we may apply it to our workplaces.  Don’t wait.  If you can take something from these ideas and use it in your organisation, then do so.

‘Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least’ – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What matters most in safety?  The answer seems obvious.  The thing that matters most is that people aren’t injured.  If you take a risk approach you may prioritise your efforts relative to risk.  But what is supporting people in being successful is what matters most?  This approach implies that avoiding injuries is part of success.  But when considering how best to provide support your priorities are dictated by those you are trying to help.  Listen to them.

‘I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway’ – unknown
Sometimes we get wrapped up in why we can’t do something.  It won’t comply with legislation.  It isn’t the way that our clients do it.  What if there is a significant incident?  Many of the reasons we find for not doing things are a result of fear.  Fear of being prosecuted, fear of repercussion from the client, fear of being wrong.  If you believe that safety has a role in creating success then these are not good enough reasons to not do something.  Safety needs people to do things for the right reasons.

‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new’ – Albert Einstein
There must be new things in safety and we need people with the courage to try them.  Irrespective of what your philosophical view is on safety organisations are constantly changing and we need to help them adapt.  Sometimes this will call for a new idea.  An idea that may not work but through trial and error may lead to a new solution.

Are you up for a challenge?  How would you relate the following quote to safety?
‘Every positive thought propels you in the right direction’ – unknown




  1. Les Henley Reply

    Negative thoughts in safety usually end up as barriers to change and improvements. But positive thinking helps in finding solutions to identified problems.

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