If your employees were your family …

If you’ve ever gone for a walk in the woods with your kids and someone in the party has a ‘bad feeling’, like most parents you instinctively take action to keep the children safe. It may be that one of the children gets scared, or it may be a parent who has an odd feeling – apparently for no reason.

Logic says that if you can’t see anything to be scared of, you should just ignore it, but gut instinct is very strong – especially when applied to your loved ones. In situations like this the majority of parents would – eventually – take the shortest route out, and breathe a big sigh of relief once out of the environment where they experienced that fear – or the child (or children) calm down.

Health and safety is an extension of family values – it’s a moral issue. In other words health and safety is about caring. It means that, in an organisation, it’s about providing support, care and consideration for the people who make the organisation function. It’s actually an extension of team work.

Making a profit, functional issues, and sticking to the processes all take precedence in setting a direction for the organisation. The people are often expected to just ‘get on with it’. So, when someone reports a ‘bad feeling’ they are either laughed at or ignored – what the organisation is doing is teaching people to ignore their instincts.