Safety leadership – The problem with rules and habits

The problem with rules……

We think of them like a law. Irrefutable and universal. They apply 100% of the time and will keep you safe. When I walk across the road on the green light, I will always be safe.

We think they will make the unpredictable, predictable. When dealing with human behaviour, it is never 100% predictable.

They are artificial constructs design to control behaviour, which for the most part are not controllable. Our habits. Only when the rule reflects our habitual actions, will guarantee behaviour and rule alignment.

Safety use when they want compliance. 100% predictable outcomes. Comply, you will be safe. Don’t, we sack you for a breach. Consequences follow rules, and often negative ones.

They work most of the time for most of the people but NOT all of the time from all of the people. Hence, safety systems founded on rules alone is compromised from the beginning.

How do your rules reflect the habits of the organisation?

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