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And Now That We’re Talking About Safety Culture, We Should Also Be Discussing …

Posted by Jonathan Klane on Apr 13, 2021 12:04:01 PM

Previous: Let's Stop Talking About Mere Safety Instead Let's Discuss...

Risk. Or, more importantly, risk perceptions. And while we’re at it, let’s change it to “risk culture.” 

In our fourth series of micro-blogs, “Risk is a 4-letter word”, we obviously discuss risk a lot. But let’s focus on the relationships between risk (and risk perceptions) and safety culture.  

Briefly to frame risk – it’s the byproduct of consequence (a negative outcome) and probability (its odds of occurring). While safety is binary (I’m safe or I’m not), the risk is fluid across two or three ranges (the third one sometimes added is exposure).  

Discussing risk is paradoxical. Risk is more complex than safety. So, in that regard, it should be tougher to discuss. But because of the many factors across the two or three ranges, it gives us many opportunities to talk about them. So let’s.  

When we have thoughtful discussions on a topic, it adds to our frame and our ways of doing things. 

Our norms. And thus, our safety culture. If risk gives us space to have conversations, risk perceptions just increase that space even more.  

We all have varying risk perceptions. And we don’t spend nearly enough time talking about them because that’s what is at the heart of so many of our challenges – the differences between our risk perceptions.  

As I write, we are still living in the land of covid-19. If there was ever an opportunity to discuss and listen (and I do mean discuss – not argue or force upon others!) of our different risk perceptions, this is it.  

So, let’s talk about risk perceptions, which risks are worth taking, and our risk culture because life is about risk and makes it worth living. 

Coming Soon: If I were to say, “safety culture initiatives,” what would come to mind?