Over the last two decades, safety improvements have flatlined (as measured in fatalities and serious injury rates, for instance) despite a vast expansion of compliance and bureaucracy. ‘Safety Differently: The Movie” is a documentary by Professor Sidney Dekker from Griffith University which tells the stories of three organizations that had the courage to devolve, declutter, and decentralize their safety bureaucracy.
Safety differently is a story of hope; of rediscovering ways to trust and empower people, and of reinvigorating the humanity and dignity of actual work. Safety Differently is a new philosophy to empower people at work by relying on their expertise, insights and the dignity of work to improve safety and efficiency.
The film presents how three organizations (Origin Energy, Queensland Health, Woolworths Supermarkets) discovered that much of their compliance and bureaucracy was self-inflicted. Laws and regulations demanded some things for sure, but the majority of the permits, tool restrictions, checklists, rules, guidance and procedures that penetrated deeply into the capillaries of people’s daily work were all driven internally or by their contracting arrangements to other organizations.
Too many cooks in the rule-making kitchens, few or no calls for evidence of the need or efficacy of the rules, liability fears, and sheer bureaucratic entrepreneurism meant that it was easy to make things difficult. It was easy to add stuff, and almost impossible to take stuff out. But these organizations did, and did so successfully. Learn more about ‘Safety Differently’ movie here.