Safety First, Second, or Third?

The folks at Safety|NewsAlert have taken issue with a recent Q & A post by Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs guy on the Discovery Channel, who explains to one of his viewers why he doesn’t take safety precautions on the show.  While I can agree with the overall point Safety|NewsAlert makes (it’s just idiotic to take those risks when you don’t have to), I think Rowe’s point about the sloganeering may have been lost in the shuffle–namely, that the “Safety First!” platitude is, by and large, misdirected, wrong-headed and ineffective.  I actually agree with his assessment of that slogan, but on very different grounds.  My reasons for rejecting the slogan have been covered in depth here, here and here, and they differ radically from Mike Rowe’s poorly thought-out rejection of the slogan.  I’ll likely write an article someday responding to the comments of the Dirty Jobs star as well, but for now here is the Safety|NewsAlert article in full.

Eric Svendsen

Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is Principal and lead change agent for safetyBUILT-IN, a safety-leadership learning and development organization. He has over 20 years experience in creating and executing outcomes-based leadership development and culture change initiatives aligned to organizational goals, and he personally led the safety-culture initiatives of a number of client organizations that resulted in “best ever safety performance” years for those companies.

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