• Peter Bateman
    In the Mar/Apr edition of Safeguard magazine we pose three questions based on stories in the magazine. One of them is this:

    This year’s State of the Nation results show a level of pessimism about our H&S performance not seen in years.
    Give us one reason for pessimism and – if you can – one reason for optimism!

    Feel free to respond here on the Forum, or privately here via a Survey Monkey form.

    An edited selection of responses will be published in the May/June edition, but with no names attached. One randomly selected person will receive a prize, namely a copy of the book Pesticides and Health: How New Zealand Fails in Environmental Protection, by Neil Pearce. (Don't be fooled by the title - it's mainly a hard-hitting account of occupational health failings.)
  • KeithH
    Such a negative view. But it can continue on a positive note.

    Pessimism, an attitude of hopelessness toward life and toward existence, coupled with a vague general opinion that pain and evil predominate in the world. (Britannica)

    Optimism, the theory, in philosophy, that the world is the best of all possible worlds or, in ethics, that life is worth living. (Britannica)

    A few reasons for pessimism are businesses have approached H&S from the top down, see it as an expense, are keen to blame others for their own shortcomings, have locked themselves into a cottonwool approach and prefer ROI and lost productivity measurements.

    Some reasons for optimism, IMHO, are that the door is still open for worker engagement, creativity boosts productivity (even in a recession), improvement definitely starts at home, vocational methods balance academic inputs and ROE is a two way street.

    My 2 cents worth
  • Courtney
    Pessimism: Companies are much better at saying the right words about safety being a top priority for their people, but often it's still seen as an inconvenience to productivity on the ground.

    Optimism: There seem to be just enough companies doing things right to give hope to safety professionals that they can be the change they want to see.
  • Wayne Nicholl
    I think both are related to and affected by what is going on around us. We are still learning to live with things like COVID, inflation, cost of living and the number of natural events we are being exposed to. Sometimes the unplanned events lead to Pessimism, but when they are under control people become Optimism. People bring those roller coasters into the workplace and they create different additional roller coasters for those that become unwilling stakeholders. That brings challenges - but also opportunity. A different sort of response to the question :-)
  • sheree
    Pessimism is the ongoing low levels of managers and Officers who are competent in the H&S space. Often due to lack of prioritizing of H&S as a goal or for those that are interested, they are not provided with any or sufficient relevant training. On a positive, working in the training and contracting space I do see some companies and individual H&S advisors who are truly passionate with both their words and actions and making a difference
  • Jane Gravestock
    I haven't yet read my magazine to see this, though I did see this: on the Business Leaders H&S Forum
    The attachment identify: mental fatigue, workforce challenges, economic pressures and political and organizational fatigue... it's worth a wee look.
  • Peter Bateman
    It's coming up smoko time. The mag awaits your attention (with a coffee)!
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