What Is Safety? Who Is Safety?

The Penrith REAL Festival

Safety in the context of this industry can be many things. Safety is not just about the regulations. It’s a paradigm, it’s a safe system of work. Safety is also a culture, a way of life; a culture that wants to do things safely and help others to work safely. Safety is also a science. It often has definite input and definite output. Safety encompasses physicality, psychology, ergonomics and group or individual culture. Safety is the tedium of compliance measures and the relative excitement of the sciences. I am a Safety Scientist which encompasses all aspects of physical safety and system safety.  

You will detect a definite theme throughout my blogs. I’m all about competency. Because safety advising and supervising is essentially unregulated, there are a lot of poorly trained or completely untrained people hopping-in to get a quick buck. The job is well paid by comparison to other “unskilled” jobs available to them. They will undercut and tell you what you want to hear. They often fake their credentials and experience. Unfortunately, though, these people can land you in serious hot water. Not just by their actions, but also by their inactions. When you go through my future blogs (and my book) you will see that there are a lot of issues to consider, and good safety people are there to keep you on schedule, safe and out of court. And I hope my blogs will make you realise just exactly what you should expect and what you are paying for.

Should you ever end up on the wrong side of an incident, you will need to count on your safety people and all of their work to shine in court. That safety officer or consultant could be the difference between success or failure on so many levels. So just remember, do your due diligence when hiring and imagine for a moment that that person you’re considering for the job of safety officer may be representing you in court or at a hearing. Cheap or charming won’t seem like a bargain then!