Have you ever been involved in a safety investigation where you felt like you were being interrogated?
Work as imagined (WAI) versus work as a done (WAD), some abstract terms, but really useful in terms of their implications. We could also refer to the terms collectively, a different label, the job perception gap.
The past principles and practices of safety management have served us really well and they will continue to do so particularly for simple tasks where individuals or small groups are carrying out things where the risks are well-known and not much is changing in the environment.
However, what happens when a procedure doesn't fit the situation?
What happens if something unexpected strikes and there's no rule to cover the situation?
What happens if we chose to go outside the procedure to get things done?
Asking ‘why?’ about incidents several times and answering, ‘because … ’, inevitably leads to the answer, ‘culture’—the climate of practices, values, accountability and communications pervading in an organisation, summed up in the phrase, ‘the way we do things around here’.