More Questions, Less Answers

In EHS training and education, we learn answers.

The standard color of a warning sign.

The required distance to an eyewash.

The clearance for a circuit breaker panel.

The normal level of oxygen in a confined space.

And throughout our careers we give these answers and advice.

What happened to questions? When did we become so sure of ourselves we stopped wondering?

Voltaire said that a man should be judged by his questions rather than answers.

Here are a few:

Why do you do what you do? If your company doubled in size, what would be different/the same? What would your team do with twice the budget next year? Half the budget? What is the highest risk faced by your company? Are you working to reduce it or is it accepted? Is safety compatible with a business breaking traditional barriers? Is compliance your goal? Or is safety? Or is your goal to survive to the next paycheck?

What questions do you ask?

 

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