Safety As A Rip-off

Safety as an industry continues to struggle, but safety as a grift and a con is thriving. Every day there is another hustle, another slick huckster with a new way to make money with a convoluted scheme that will be the safety panacea. I hoped that the downturn would weed out some of the worst offenders, but such is not the case. There are two types of safety rip-offs—the “Music Man” and “Pusher”. In both cases the perpetrators may believe that their solution is good for the customer, even when though they are making far more money than the customer would ever see as a return. A Music Man safety rip-off is an convoluted and system that keeps promising payoffs that never come to fruition. Many Music Man rip-offs span years before leadership changes or the organization comes to its senses and dumps the process (and generally the safety leadership along with it.) Of course, the providers of the Music Man rip-offs work hard to keep the organization believing that the band uniforms will come any day. A lot of Behavior Based Safety (BBS) are essentially Music Man rip-offs. The Pusher rip-offs are essentially low-grade safety processes where the provider makes their money continuing sales of materials. So a mediocre training course turns into a (ideally from the vendor’s standpoint) never ending stream of material sales. Neither of these schemes are particularly nefarious, but if you are desperate, fearful, or overly earnest someone will ultimately prey on you. This is as true for organizations as it is for individuals. And when it comes to safety, prey is plentiful, and where you find plentiful prey you find rapacious brutes lying in wait.

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