Experience has proven a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Some cast studies. Organisation A – a not for profit with multiple sites doing great work and an over- confident Gen Y “safety consultant” without any idea or realisation that they knew nothing. What a mess. Funding reliant upon non-existent safety systems, no responding to staff with issues, no incident investigations, no program to address the very high risk dominant hazard, rubbish training, staff in high risk situations - only by good luck not good management that really bad things had not happened. Organisation B – Another not for profit but smaller. Policy framework plagiarised from a university and a large multinational not for profit. Well run and not so much at risk but somewhat typical of the sector – take a safety management system from somewhere else, dump it in and trust that you manage without incident because the manager had done some safety in the big corporate. Organisation C – a not for profit religious sector who had purchased a construction sector safety management system from another jurisdiction and not implemented it. When they sought assistance they demanded to take the intellectual property and run with it themselves – along the way creating hybrid safety reps who were appointed by management and with the power to over-rule managers who had no safety responsibilities. Dog’s breakfast. In each case someone thought they knew what to do but didn’t. In each case they chose a cheap option and exposed themselves to risk. It is a pity they didn’t bone up on the legislative duty to employ or engage suitably qualified persons to advise on safety. I hire a sparkie for my electrical work, a plumber for my pipes, a mechanic for my car, an accountant for my tax. These people think they can make a safety person out of thin air.
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing