Ten myths about safety

Safety awareness has improved dramatically over the past century, yet some myths persist. Safety and life skills speaker JÜRGEN TIETZ lists his top 10 safety-related myths.

Safety has to be learned
This is untrue as self-preservation is an inborn feature of all living organisms. People are more aware of safety requirements than presumed.

Everyone is concerned about their own safety
This is true, but many people have a do-not-worry-attitude, or they have the “it won’t happen to me” syndrome.

People only take chances if they have to
Human beings are “lazy” and will usually take the path of least effort – regardless of whatever risk may exist. We also take short cuts, which we will do again and again if we can get away with it.

Safety is a work-related issue
It is nearly impossible to flip-flop between different sets of safety standards, one while at work and another when at leisure. Safety has to become a mindset, something we do all the time.

“Safety is part of our company’s core values” – really?
Do you walk the talk? When there is a conflict between safety and other issues such as production and costs, what happens?

Safety isn’t an issue for the office-bound
It’s a misconception that safety is merely meant for those on the front line who use the tools. Anyone can slip, trip or fall, anywhere, any time.

Systems can fix any safety problem
It’s true that systems are important, but they are only a means to an end and not the end in itself.

Safety can be managed in meetings
Time spent on chairs is no substitute for spending time on your feet at the coalface being a VIP leader – a Visibly-Involved and Proactive leader.

We’ve got safety covered through standardising, hoaxing and coaxing it
One might think that all will be okay by merely keeping the boxes ticked. It doesn’t help to just police the rule book, you have to look at actual safety.

The world will crumble if you don’t hold your workforces’ hand
People have to take responsibility for their own actions; we cannot blame others or conditions and circumstance. 

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