You’ve seen this from individuals in the EHS field. They attend multiple training courses, receive a handful of certificates, and may even talk themselves into a decision-making role in the organization.
And then it starts. A manager disagrees with them. The EHS technician retorts, “Do you know who I am?” Or a policy doesn’t align with their version of perfect. The EHS technician counters, “This company doesn’t care about safety, it’s only about profit.”
What’s missing from most safety training? A bit of philosophy, psychology, emotional intelligence, perspective, leadership…which each work to bind the technical side of safety to the strategy of business.
Too often, we fall into the trap laid out so eloquently by Ray Bradbury, author of “Fahrenheit 451“, when he wrote:
“Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’, they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information….Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.”
For more on EHS curriculum and what’s missing in safety training and education, take a look at “Model Curriculum for OSH: Key to Becoming a Profession” by Jim Ramsay and Wayne Hartz in the March 17 edition of Professional Safety.