Paper Safe: The triumph of bureaucracy in safety management

Paper Safe: The triumph of bureaucracy in safety management

by Gregory W Smith


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At some point health and safety management seems to have lost its way. Rather than being concerned about protecting workers and others from the hazards associated with business, health and safety management has devolved into a self-perpetuating industry which has driven a wedge between management and the workforce. Health and safety management has become synonymous with trivial rules and burdensome, never ending paperwork.

This book explores the question of bureaucracy in safety management. What is it, and how does it impact organisational goals for health and safety? The book asks what we can do to better understand and deal with bureaucracy in health and safety management, and ultimately what steps we can take to reconnect management, workers and safety processes to achieve the best safety outcomes we can.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780987630001
Publisher: Wayland Legal Pty Ltd
Publication date: 11/01/2018
Pages: 180
Sales rank: 960,969
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

Greg is an international award winning author and qualified lawyer who has spent more than two decades specialising in safety and health management. Greg works with clients helping them to understand their responsibility for safety and health, and develop processes to discharge those responsibilities.

In addition to being a lawyer, Greg has worked as the Principal Safety Advisor for a major oil and gas company and currently teaches the Accident Prevention unit at Curtin University in Western Australia.

Paper Safe is Greg's 4th book.

Table of Contents

Paper Safe. 1

Introduction. 3

A word about case studies. 7

A word about case citations. 13

A word about the trivial 14

The infinite regression of supervision. 17

Part 1. 24

What is bureaucracy and why does it matter?. 24

What is Bureaucracy?. 25

Rules. 33

The handrail conundrum.. 41

Bureaucracy or Complexity?. 47

The Safety Paradox. 52

The illusion of safety. 58

One-Off Departure or Systemic Failure. 65

Part 2. 69

Bureaucracy in action. 69

General 70

Who are you writing for?. 83

Audits and accreditation. 87

Training and competence. 92

Workplace tools. 97

Incident investigations. 118

Health and safety reporting. 130

Part 3. 137

Where to from here?. 137

Managing legal risk. 138

Understand if your systems are useful 145

Connection with purpose. 147

Critically question health and safety reports. 152

Incident investigations. 155

Final thoughts. 158

References 160

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