Are We Imbeciles?

Phil La Duke's Blog


By Phil La Duke

Each week I hammer out another missive on the state of safety and each week I worry that I may have exhausted the well when it comes to offering up suggestions for improving the safety function, something hits me. This week it was really simple: are we collectively, as a profession imbeciles? Before you answer consider this: 86% of safety professionals (in a poll conducted by S+H magazine) said that they believed that Heinrich was at least in part correct and that the primary cause of injuries was unsafe behaviors and yet instead of focusing our efforts on ensuring that unsafe behaviors don’t get people killed, we insist on focusing on changing people’s behaviors. Are we soft in the head? If we could change people’s behaviors on a wide scale there would be no crime, no war, and a host of other lingering problems that plague…

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The Importance Of Discipline

Phil La Duke's Blog


By Phil La Duke

Safety professionals take great pains to engage workers in safety. While it’s true that engaged workers tend to be more concerned about the safety of the workplace worker engagement can only take us so far. And while it’s unfair to blame the injured worker—a tendency far too common—I’ve seen a decide move away from discipline as a response to unsafe behavior.

The mere mention of discipline raises emotions on both sides of the spectrum. On one end there is a chorus of “here! Here!” spouting mouth-breathers who want to blame every injury on stupid workers who can’t follow directions or won’t follow the rules. On the other end we have a bunch of bleeding hearts that want to blame everything but the responsible party. The answer in most cases lies somewhere in between. The correct approach in most cases lies somewhere in between.

Without Discipline We…

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Safety implications of the neuroscience of plasticity and the work athlete


Safety implications of the neuroscience of plasticity and the work athlete : Abstract of a  keynote address on safety leadership cultural change science*

Leadership in occupational health and safety will only be achieved by adopting the latest research  about human performance.  Science has recently emerged that the brain is plastic in nature.  Vital new imperatives emerge for occupational health and safety.  The importance of fitness and exercise on peak performance in occupational health and safety has not been well understood until now.  It relates not only to the well-being of the physical body to the functioning of the brain.  We know that everything needed to be known about the performance of any work can be learnt by studying athletics.  All people doing athletics get hot when they are performing.  We know that.  It’s not new.  But what it means for thinking, cognition, creativity in business, and safety-critical decision-making in human…

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