Are you confused, or bothered by the sometimes argumentative-cum-nasty discussion that is happening about old and new views of safety? You’re not alone, and today I’m chatting with a listener who thinks extremes of either probably aren’t a good thing. 

Hey, it’s Andrew, and this is Safety on Tap. 

Since you’re listening in, you must be a leader wanting to grow yourself and drastically improve health and safety along the way.  Welcome to you, you’re in the right place.  If this is your first time listening in, thanks for joining us and well done for trying something different to improve! And of course welcome back to all of you wonderful regular listeners.

I love engaging with you, the listener.  Its crazy to think that you are there, maybe on your own, in the car or walking the dog, and at the same time you are part of a huge global group of thousands of health and safety people listening in to Safety on Tap.  I love hearing from you, and learning more about you, which is what I did today with long time listener Brenton Harrison. 

If you want to get in touch I’m just one email or DM away, get in touch via Linkedin or send an email to andrew [at]  I’d love to hear from you. 

Brenton shared some thoughts publicly about the extremes of new view and traditional views of safety, so we linked up to discuss some more.  I think plenty of this will resonate with you. 

Here’s Brenton:

You can read Brenton’s original Linkedin article here:

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Here’s my three takeaways from that chat with Brenton Harrison:

Takeaway #1: We learn more and understand each other better when we talk about things, not about each other.  I was curious to learn more about Brenton’s original article, and we were able to think out loud together.  That didn’t mean we agreed on everything, but it was productive and respectful because it wasn’t about who Brenton or I are, instead we focussed on the things that bring us together.  When you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, unsure, or attacked, try and stick to THIS and THAT, instead of US and THEM. 

Takeaway #2: We are all marketers, we are all trying to move people to use their resources to do one thing over another.  Resources that aren’t just money, but things like time, and attention, and emotion.  Go and buy at least one if not both of these books: To Sell is Human, by Dan Pink, and This is Marketing by Seth Godin.  These will drastically shift the way you look at the change you seek to make in the world. 

Takeaway #3: There is always a tension between the full level of detail we need to have some confidence that what we are doing will deliver a certain result, and the need to be brief or simplified in order to convey that to others, and importantly get them to endorse/approve or resource it.  I don’t agree with simplification, instead I’ll borrow friend of the show Greg Smith’s words to say we need greater clarity, not simplicity.  When you come up with a plan or decide what to do or ask for support, be crystal clear on why you are trying something (versus something else), and how you think the change will happen.  Google the words ‘program logic’ and see what you find.  I’ll do an entire episode on program logic very soon. 

Some other episodes you might like to listen to that relate to today’s are:

Ep149 Knowing, seeing and leading through paradoxes, with Tristan Casey

Ep138 Lessons on Safety II in practice, with Erik Hollnagel

Ep134 is all about sticking with it or trying something else: the relationship between persistence and sunk-cost

Ep117 exploring the subtle but important distinction that happens when we use the word  versus to compare two things, instead of using a comma

This podcast works better when we share ideas and dialogue with others.  Take a minute to share this episode, or another one you like better, with a colleague or friend.  I’d love that and so would they. 

Thanks so much for listening.  Until next time, what’s the one thing you’ll do to take positive, effective or rewarding action, to grow yourself, and drastically improve health and safety along the way? Seeya!

Here’s your FREE reflection worksheet from this episode.

And here’s your FREE download of the full transcript of this episode.

Feel free to share this with your team/colleagues!