You must have heard people sometimes comment that Occupational Health and Safety, is nothing more than paper and that behind this there is nothing more than an attempt to justify things that have not been done and therefore there are just paper and papers.
It may be that to these people they do not lack reason, especially depending on “who or whom” have been the ones managing “these papers”, “the papers” and the “orphans” that have been able to go selling them over the years, with a cheap justification for an insignificant cost for having carried out a preventive mode with them, and in some cases, not even given from the legal point of view, since the managers of these “papers”, were not accredited External Prevention Services, just giving “advice” (if you can call it that) and who is fundamentally detrimental to the company, allegedly advised (deceived).
I am one who thinks and I do not hide from saying it, that in Occupational Health and Safety the end justifies the means. In any situation that we avoid risk or improve existing safety regulations for that risk, it is a good excuse, regardless of the means we have used.
Even pressure measures in certain situations, are justifiable to prevent the greater evils that could ultimately lead to unforgivable consequences for failing to use whatever was at hand.
I do not want to be trivial, but
On how many very serious or even fatal accidents that we are aware of, if there was the possibility of rewinding it, like a videotape and now with the knowledge of the consequences that would occur, would we not have taken a series of measures aimed at these things not taking place and it would be justified without even assessing the means?
Moreover, any means that had been used so that this accident had not occurred, would have a moral justification over any other assessment.
Since in these means that justify the end, the “papers” are extremely important, especially if we use them to our favour, so as to prevent risk situations from taking place. If, even as a method of pressure if necessary. Do not forget that we are often talking about human lives and this is something that is not negotiable.
In my professional life, I have encountered some situations where “papers” (or the justification evidenced by “papers”) put some “bosses” against the ropes and this was what helped me redirect situations, some even serious with imminent risk. The truth is that after the passage of the years, I have never regretted these situations, even some that could have put my job at risk, but really, now, in “hindsight,” I’m glad I acted in such situations the way I did (and the peace of my conscience has been the best thing to come out of this).
As a case study, I will always remember a situation that we experienced.
A few years ago, where another OHS technician and myself, we had to visit an industrial facility (outside of our territory) at the request of a company with which we had a prevention contract, to save a “match ball” in which the end result was the intention of minimizing (through the industrial plant which subcontracted this work to “our company”) a team of two people to only one (only motivated by economic reasons), for routine maintenance, in areas with no possibility of action or rescue in the case of an hypothetical accident.
But it is better that I leave you with a comic strip so you can see what happened:
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