Keep Counting Every Time You Don’t Achieve Your Goal, That’s Professional
One of the common attributes of the safety industry is speaking nonsense to people (https://safetyrisk.net/believe-the-impossible-and-speak-nonsense-to-people/ ). For an industry that has no interest in studying linguistics, poetics or semiotics it does such a good job of showing how unprofessional it is.
Take for example this one. This image is taken from 2010 from a Balfour Beatty promoting zero harm. See Figure 1. Balfour Beatty Harm
Of course, such videos and images are quickly removed from the Internet so they don’t look stupid. However, Safety doesn’t dispose of the ideology, just the memory of setting a dumb goal. Then the language changes from a goal of zero harm to a ‘journey towards zero harm’, how convenient. Just adjust resort to spin when your goal doesn’t work. Yes, just declare it as a ‘vision’ when the ideology is bankrupt of anything visionary. The good old Safety strategy, naming things by what they are not. It used to be a goal, now it’s a ‘vision’, by 2025 it will be something else. Just keep speaking nonsense to people. And when this doesn’t work you just make zero a spiritual imperative (https://safetyrisk.net/the-spirit-of-zero/ ).
Fast forward to 2022 and Balfour Beatty still use the same language and ideology to promote zero (https://balfourbeatty.com/health-and-safety/safety/ ) except this time it is ‘personal’. Just the next blurb of gobbledygook that doesn’t make sense. This is all complemented by ‘golden rules’. Perhaps this means the blaming will be more personal when you don’t follow a golden rule or procedure? This seems to be what happens in reality according to reports on social media.
Keep throwing the linguistics of absolutes for fallible people (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/fallibility-risk-living-uncertainty/ ) and keep reporting each year the number of incidents proving that zero harm is nonsense. (https://balfourbeatty.com/media/blogs/we-re-having-a-big-health-and-safety-conversation/ ).
This isn’t just about Balfour Beatty, this is what all zero harm organisations do. Just look at DuPont. After killing thousands of people (https://safetyrisk.net/dark-waters-the-true-story-of-dupont-and-zero/ ) over many years they don’t drop the mantra, don’t give up the ideology, just keep repeating the word ‘professional’ and make it so. Just keep declaring that zero is ‘leadership’ and make it so (http://timberqueensland.com.au/Docs/News%20and%20Events/News/Greg-Lauman-pres.pdf ).
Attaching to zero ideology is anti-leadership, anti-vision, anti-professional and anti-learning. Good old Queensland Regulator (declaring zero as a ‘philosophy’) ensuring it ‘changes culture’ characterized by bullying. I know let’s keep using semiotics of harm whilst preaching zero harm (https://safetyrisk.net/speaking-semiotic-language-to-safety/; https://safetyrisk.net/the-wisdom-of-the-beguines-for-safety/ ), that’s professional.
So, we didn’t achieve zero harm by 2012, I know let’s just keep spruiking nonsense to demotivate people to safety:
Results from our survey (https://safetyrisk.net/take-the-zero-survey/ ) with over 4000 respondents, shows clearly that workers don’t believe in zero and what’s more, they think it promotes dishonesty, bullying and religious fervour in such bullying. How professional.