- January 11, 2019
- Posted by: Sage Shield Safety Consultants
- Category: Overseas Occupational Health And Safety News
In the weeks after the excellent Bunnings sausage saga of 2018 the outcry about simply how silly some safety choices are brought a wry smile to my face and has actually offered many with an amusing analogy on why we ought to concentrate on high effect risk. I have actually seen a hot works permit and a safe work technique statement for the site barbecue, thankfully almost all leading tier building business have a focus on high effect risk, be that Global Minimum Requirements, Fatal and Severe Risks or Crucial Risk programs developed in both security I and Safety II structures. In the security I world of retributive justice, if you break among these sacred guidelines you can anticipate to be given the next offered window seat on the flight house, after you are ‘simply cultured’ initially of course. In the safety II version they no longer use Golden Rules, choosing vital control management with a level of liberty within the risk management structure and a more corrective justice method. It likewise acknowledges that for innovation and structure organisational strength (apologies for the buzzword) there needs to be experimentation, but the effects of some errors are simply undue to endure. In security II individuals are the service, but it appears when it comes to crucial risk management that’s not always the case. Like battling people, faiths or member of the family, the quicker security I and II stop fighting over the ethical high ground and remember all of us are ultimately after the exact same thing, the much better and something you’ll get nearly no arguments from either camp is that security is an ethical responsibility.
Principles is the subject of lots of research studies and one of the most extensively used examples within police is the “Dirty Harry Problem”. Traditionally a Dirty Harry Issue is a genuine spirits problem whereby an individual faces the choice to break the rules to accomplish an immediate and absolutely good result. People are encountering these morale dilemmas in the office such as discovering an important control not executed and deciding whether to act on it. They might use ‘individuals are the service’ as the excuse for not acting which is basically versus whatever safety I and II have to do with and a shorthanded interpretation of the safety II principles. In doing so they are selecting not to act on the organisation order to stop work and instead apply individuals are the service principle in isolation. Similarly, Dirty Harry applied his own brand name of justice in killing (an absolute grub of a human) with overall disregard for the guideline of law and the justice system, considering himself as the option to the issue of an inefficient justice system. Paraphrasing Klockers (1980) and Albanese (2008) the wrongness related to dirty methods is not in concern, but rather the shorthanded interpretation of the principles that concludes that the “ends justify the ways” suggesting that any offered course of action is appropriate so long as it results in greater overall joy. This in impact total up to noble cause corruption. There is a clear choice– a moral issue– I do not want to stop the work since it will make someone dissatisfied is not an ethical decision, it’s a cop out.
Do completions justify the means?
(It does not matter how we get there, as long as we get there)
Does it matter if we don’t quit working when we discover a vital control missing out on if nobody gets hurt? According to what is happening anecdotally on websites, the organisational morals and a practical lens used to the concern leads to the work continuing. Normally we hear that individuals are adaptive and they will come up with a solution. Ultimately, we accomplished greater total joy, and no one got hurt– but what if someone did get hurt? If we have a control missing and someone suffers a minor injury or we have a near miss, is that still alright? What happens when we seriously hurt or eliminate someone after ignoring an important control since we didn’t wish to stop the work or make someone dissatisfied? Prior to you begin considering pointing fingers and self-preservation, hold that thought …
Let’s flip that for a minute– do the methods justify the ends?
(It does not matter what the result is as long as we go to work the method we prepared)
If you take the view that the outcome will be a spin-off of how we go to work– does it matter if we don’t achieve production rates if we still achieve what we set out to do safely? If we plan to go to work and undertake a task with reference to our vital controls, strategy to work within those boundaries with the ideal resources and individuals will we encounter a missing out on vital control? In theory no, however “something constantly appears or circumstances alter” according to the individuals that do the work. If you disregard the ends for a minute and consider how individuals go to work rather than the end objective, any moral issues can be dealt with from a various perspective. If you use ‘individuals are the service’ in this framework, adaptive individuals have the ability to come up with a method to work as planned. This view presumes that the procedure is what is important and ethical issues only emerge if individuals see a need to wander off from work as prepared.
So what takes place when we disregard that missing out on control? That truly depends upon the maturity of the organisation and the kinds of justice looked for. In an under established organisation that looks for retributive justice faced with scenario one, individuals are the option quickly heads out the window in favour of blame and self-preservation whereas scenario two, the dilemma is conquered, however responsibility may come for other failures not security associated i.e. expense, time and so on. In a more developed organisation that is open to a restorative justice in both scenarios the interest isn’t in who was ideal or incorrect however more about what the organisation needs to recover and learning how we can gain from the ethical predicaments encountered. Where we presently fall down in each of these theories of justice is the lack of an independent judge. We typically do not have independence in figuring out retributive, substantive, procedural or restorative justice. Whatever action is taken or discovering that took place is carried out by those straight included.
There are various and more intricate lenses to view principles and morality in safety than simply the utilitarian and deontological examples here where one focusses on the collective and the end outcome but overlooks the private, and the other focusses on how work is carried out and the security of the individual without regard for completion outcome. This is a binary mindset; you are either good or evil. We understand the world and ethical thinking is more complex than great versus evil, however our application of safety can be really binary due to the fact that we have been configured to think in this manner– Legislation asks us to manage threat to a level that is reasonably practicable, where we often fail is the structure in which we apply the reasonably practicable test. Individuals and companies have latched onto a cost-benefit structure and our choices are being made with a cost-benefit/ production lens instead of an ethical lens. I am not saying that the traditional expense/ advantage framework is incorrect after all organisation is about generating income and individuals within businesses are normally not actively overlooking ethical problems in favour of dollars. People and organisations gravitate to what they understand and the expense/ benefit framework is an underlying principal for organisation. Security problems within a cost-benefit framework are a challenge to the safety II principals and cause individuals being the service to a production issue. The reasonably practicable test overlayed in an ethical framework results in individuals being the solution to an ethical problem, the method picked is driven by people outcomes rather of production effects which is not always seen as favorable to excellent business. What an issue.
If we really expect our leaders to make ethical choices that benefit people and company in various situations how do we as safety experts and especially safety in a different way practitioners, support our leaders to live into the ‘safety is an ethical obligation’ principle? How can we:
To assist individuals understand the ethical intricacy of various circumstances I have often utilized the trolley problem– first introduced by Phillipa Foot in 1967– as a theoretical example to pull apart the predicaments associated with different schools of ethical thinking. It’s not a comfy example for some as it makes them squirm wondering whether they would commit murder to save their enjoyed ones or decide that is not in their interest but is for the greater good. It requires them to question their personal values at a deeper level hence exposing the intricacy of work and the over simplified just culture frameworks they previously relied upon to fix things after an incident. This is only one way of exploring ethics, but I wonder how often we have these kinds of conversations with our leaders and if ethics is an underlying principal of security II, are we providing it the attention it needs?
The safety II principles people are the option and safety is an ethical duty, are linked; they are not equally special; they do not work when applied in seclusion of each other. Security I or safety II practiced in seclusion of each other will not work as well as it could, and important control management is not the future of safety practices if used in seclusion of principles– it simply becomes the new golden guideline. There are emerging practices such as Human and Organisation Performance (HOP) discovering teams, with real self-reliance to simply better understand the nuances of organisational challenges. These HOP teams are yet to be critically assessed for safety benefits by academia. They appear appealing but in the meantime, individuals are the solution to our ethical problems and Dirty Harry safety (utilizing ‘individuals as the solution’ as an excuse for inactiveness) and practicing safety without a higher appreciation for different ethical thinking or without independent evaluation, leaves the efficiency of security management more as much as luck, and you have actually got ask one concern. Do I feel fortunate? Well, do ya? Punk!