We need to make sure this can never happen again

Have you ever been involved in an incident investigation that was really just a checklist of organisational processes? Have there been times when you might have missed something because you became too focused on one aspect and weren’t open to exploring?

I’ve been in these situations. I’ve written reports that were focused on checking off on corporate procedures rather than on understanding what really went on. I’ve prepared reports that were ‘protected’ by legal professional privilege so that what we learnt could not be shared with others. I’ve written reports where I know that there were a range of other factors at play, but I had neither the time nor resources to explore them, so I ‘parked them’ for later (they are still parked!). Is this normal in risk and safety, or is this just my experience?

If this is our approach, what chance do we really have of learning anything?

What are the by-products that come from an approach that advocates ‘we need to make sure this can never happen again’?

You can read the rest of the article HERE

Am I stupid? I didn’t think of that…

I live in the Hunter Valley in NSW, which is on the east coast of Australia. This week we have been hit by what our local media are describing as a ‘super storm’. In the particular area where I live, we received over 400 millimeters (0.12 gallons, US) of rain in two days. The scenes of flash flooding in areas that are normally farming and rural land amazed me, as did the number of roads that have been cut off and how quickly rivers rose. Experts say that it is a one in ten year flood.

What amazed me more however is that although this crazy weather event took us ‘off guard’ and despite a lack of planning for this specific event, we coped ok and learned a lot along the way.

With my background in risk and safety, I’ve become accustomed to thinking that we have to have a plan in place to cover every type of emergency scenario, and along with that plan, appropriate procedures that would outline a response to almost every conceivable situation.

This big lesson that I learned this week was that while my wife and I had thought about a number of things associated with an emergency at our place and we did have some plans for certain scenarios, there will always be things that take us by surprise. When these things happen we can feel silly or stupid, because in retrospect they were obvious. But does it really mean we are stupid if we don’t (or can’t) think of everything?

Read the rest of the article which was first published HERE

Social Psychology Applied to the Discernment of Risk

During April 2015, good mates and study buddies (and authors on the Safetyrisk.net blog) Gab Carlton, Max Geyer, Rob Sams and James Ellis attended the Society of Australasian Social Psychologist (SASP) Conference held in Newcastle. While Rob Sams has provided his reflections on this conference, hearing from academics presenting their research, the guys also participated in another way by presenting a poster on what they have learned about applying the social psychology of risk in their workplaces.

You can read more by clicking on the link to the article the guys published on Safetyrisk.net below.


Pause and Ponder

I’ve had the privilege over the past few days to attend the Society of Australasian Social Psychologist (SASP) Annual Conference held in my hometown of Newcastle, NSW. The SASP Conference brought together more than 170 delegates who were keen to learn, share and explore together. You can learn more about SASP here, and if you’re interested in joining, it costs $50 per year.

Let me state up front, I am a student. I have a passion for learning (while at the same time unlearning!) and to be amongst such academic minds was both amazing and, to begin with, a tad intimidating. However, I soon felt relaxed, at ease and ready to learn. It was no surprise to me that social psychologists made it their business to make people feel welcome.

While I have learnt a lot over the past few days about my chosen field of study, and I will share more of this as I digest and reflect on my learning, the thing that I have an immediate desire to share is what I learned about those who have chosen a life in studying social psychology as an academic.

When we open our minds to listening, learning and understanding from those who have chosen a life of research, of challenging and of a quest for exploring, I believe we can ourselves, learn so much.


Psychology of Risk Conference

The Inaugural Psychology of Risk Conference was held in Sydney on 25, 26 March 2015 and was a great success. People from New Zealand, Hong Kong and Australia came together at ACU in North Sydney to hear how the social psychology of risk can be applied at work. The diverse field of presenters included practitioners from: Telstra, Raytheon, Lend Lease, QSL, Jemena, Framework, Rio Tinto, SummitCARE, Theiss, Omya Australia, General Mills, Nestle and Electranet.

Dolphyn’s Rob Sams, along with Associates Gab Carlton (Resilyence) , James Ellis (Framework Group) and Max Geyer (ViaMax) all presented papers as well as facilitated our ‘Conversation Corner’.

We’d love to hear from anyone who attended, about your experiences and thoughts.

We will be publishing papers on Rob’s presentation, ‘what is excess regulation doing to us all?‘, and on the Conversation Corner over the next week.

You can read more about the conference by clicking on the link below.





The Dangers of Being an Expert

It can feel good to win and argument or be perceived as the most intelligent person in the room. It’s a great boost for our ego and I think typically as human beings that we like being the one who knows the most, or to excel where others don’t.

However, when we know more than others, or we have an overwhelming feeling of joy and happiness at being right, or if our desire is to always be the smartest person in the room this can impact on how we relate to others and can change relationships.