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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A Healthy Preoccupation with Disaster

"Those that have the safest work environment are those that have a healthy preoccupation with disaster" said the speaker at a dry old OH&S session I attended yesterday. "If you injure of kill someone through neglect, it is an offense that is prosecuted under criminal law."

Most people are fairly certain that they take health and safety seriously. We make sure our staff, our colleagues and our families are safe. We are careful with electricity, with hot water, and with trip hazards. But when it comes to our own health and safety we forget that keeping our fat levels under control is a part of that duty of care.

You might feel that your fear of getting fat or staying fat is a bit obsessive but if you translate that into the language of a business safety culture, you have a healthy preoccupation with disaster.

So how can you improve you OH&S track record? How can you avoid harming yourself through neglect?

Try using the 'risk management' framework which is 3 questions.
(1) What could go wrong? and what are the consequences?
(2) How will I prevent this happening?
(3) What will I do if, despite my best efforts, it still goes wrong?

What could go wrong?
I could become overweight which will result in damage to my self respect, my pride and my sense of achievement. I could develop an obesity related disease. My ability to have an active energetic life will be compromised.

How will I prevent this happening?
I will make the best decisions I can concerning my nutrition and exercise. I will plan what I am going to eat and how I am going to achieve a fit and strong body. I will surround myself with people who share my desire to live this way. I will commit to making this a priority each and every day.

What will I do if it goes wrong?
I will use the momentum and focus of a disaster to start afresh. I will not wallow in the misery of failure but look for opportunities to prevent mistakes in the future. I will reassess the effectiveness of my plan, my compliance with it and will ask for help if I need it. I will start every new day with enthusiasm and drive. I will never give up.

No amount of research, documentation or good intentions will keep you safe - you stay safe through your actions. Before you eat that block of chocolate, or drive to the shops because it is too cold to walk, ask yourself if your choices are keeping you out of harms way. Your health and safety is your highest priority.

Stay safe!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post Katie, so true...

    I worry endlessly about my parents'-in-laws weight and lack of excercise.

    I have suggested making small changes such as skim milk in their daily cappucinos, but am met with the comment "At our age, if we can't enjoy a treat every day..." My mother in law has been told by her doctor that she is obese, and her reaction was to take offence..."how dare he tell me I'm obese?

    They view my husband and I as obsessive because we try to eat well and excercise most days.

    Nice to see there are like minded people out there.