The Accidental Behavioral Safety Expert

Even after working in the area of ethics and values for so many years, I'm still sometimes surprised by the range of ethics programs' impact and value. 

Although I have presented ethics programs now and then to health and safety groups, it was only recently pointed out to me by several safety professionals that one of the central goals of my programs – helping individuals remember to do what is right rather than simply what is easy or convenient at the moment – is exactly the same goal as many programs in the field of behavioral safety.
I pointed out that I would never consider myself a safety expert but each insisted that it is the 'behavioral' part of 'behavioral safety' that I address directly, regardless of whether I call them safety programs or not. It's an interesting thought and after racing to read a number of books on behavioral safety, I'm admittedly, if cautiously, becoming inclined to agree. I certainly can't call myself a safety expert – it's simply not my expertise. However, it has become abundantly clear to me that the concepts and tools I teach, particularly those for taking personal responsibility for doing things correctly rather than conveniently, directly support cultures of safety in exactly the same ways they support cultures of ethics. I thought it was an interesting way of re-framing my work in a whole new context.

See you at my next ethics-meets-behavioral safety program!

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