LinkedIn and other social media often includes “inspirational” posters and memes. They are eye-catching and often funny but they can also be thin and simple. This simplicity can reinforce thoughts that may work against being safe. The image on the right is an example.
It may be true that hard work will take you to the top but safe work will make sure you get there. The OHS profession should respond to some of these posters and aphorisms, not to negate the message, but to provide an additional context to them.
We could edit the slogan to include the word “safe”. We could we begin a “meme war” by trying to outdo each other. But it may be more useful to collate some of the inspirational images and use them in our corporate and staff presentations by concluding the presentation by pointing out that nothing will be achieved if a worker is killed or injured on their path of inspiration or entrepreneurship.
In this way we can use the modern, inspirational, innovation trend to emphasise the risk of not considering safety as an integral element on this path, or of sacrificing safety in the race to the top.
Safety is an essential part of innovation and growth. Without being safe, innovation and growth may be cancelled or less sustainable. And then, what was the point?