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Are We In A Battle?

This week I've been talking about language in our communication around workplace safety.

It was triggered by a recent post which quoted a union body and was using strong language, which I likened to fighting or battle language.

It spoke about battles, fights, standing united and similar things.

Don't get me wrong. As workplace incident investigators we see the results of fatalities, significant incidents, high potentials, and near-miss events. Some are scary. Some leave you shaking your head.

Any initiative to reduce the number of incidents is obviously a good thing, however, I suggested yesterday that we're in the business of marketing.

We're trying to get people on-board, to buy into our initiatives, to change people's thinking and similar.

And this is where we can often come unstuck.

Words are powerful and can help us. Or they can hinder us.

Are we trying to get buy-in or are we setting up for a battle with management?

Let's be clear- this isn't a battle and nor should it be. If we have a battle, then we have some big cultural issues to address first or we're always going to in an up-hill race while shackled to an immovable object.

Choose your words carefully.

Do they help the message? Or do they hinder the message?

Don't write or communicate in the heat of the moment.

Think about how someone else will perceive what you've written or want to say.

Interested in Knowing More?

Further information on Safety Wise’s Incident Cause Analysis (ICAM) Training is available from our website:

Additional ICAM Related Services

Safety Wise also offers the following additional services for sites that adopt the ICAM investigation analysis method:

  • Quality review of incident investigations using ICAM

  • Participation in investigations as an external/independent party

  • Investigation coaching


ABOUT THE AUTHOR- Luke Dam (Chief Executive Officer)

Luke has worked in various industries over the years including pharmaceutical, retail, manufacturing, and transport including iconic brands like WesFarmers, Goodyear, CSL Limited, and Incitec Pivot Limited.

His work in OHS and learning and development has seen him deliver services to clients, both internal and external as well as managing service delivery teams around the world.

Luke holds a Graduate Certificate of Management (Learning) as well as a Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety, a Diploma of Training and Assessment Systems, a Certificate IV Workplace Training and Assessment, a Certificate III in Mine Emergency Response & Rescue and a Certificate II in Public Safety (SES Rescue).

Luke is extensively involved in a project to establish an association dedicated to confined space safety and to drive change in legislation to promote best-practice in this high-risk area. Luke is passionate about online OHS and incident investigation communities, moderating a number of large LinkedIn groups boasting over 11,000 members globally.


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