The annoying things about Safety

The annoying things about Safety? Ike! Should you really be saying that?

Safety isn’t supposed to be perfect. Recently, I have discovered that Safety can be pretty annoying especially when you know in your heart of hearts that you failed in some aspects. Oh my! See them daggers! Let me explain – starting with me, then ending with you.

1. Prof practice what you preach.

A few weeks ago, I had to update our Health and Safety policy at the school. For those who are new to this site, I run a school owned by mum so I am largely into education now. While reviewing my policy, it dawned on me that I was failing in some aspects. Easy for things to slip by if you are not watching closely.

I haven’t practised Safety under an employer for over 2 years but Safety is one of the key things I am concerned about in the school. Despite this, I noticed that those little things that mattered were not being done. For example, this year, we haven’t had a fire drill! Say what?!

At the school, we have just 2 extinguishers when we should ideally have 6 maybe more due to our size. One of the extinguishers is from the 18th Century lol (just kidding but it is pretty old school and probably doesn’t exist anywhere else).

I have had a constant battle with my mum to replace it. The old school extinguisher is next to the kitchen where they have catering practicals and the other is in the office close to where the generator is. She says it is dear to her. Hmmm.

Although we are careful about what we spend money on, I have stubbornly decided to get more extinguishers because I am a firm believer of “prevention is better than cure”. By the time she gets the alert for the payment, it will be too late for her lol. Hopefully the shock won’t be too great 😉

I teach the kids alot about fire safety. I use images and videos all the time but now it is time for serious simulation, I realise a lot of things are not in place and really not sure how to go about ordering stuff so I am still in talks with some Fire Safety service providers. Hopefully they can solve my problem.

I have appointed fire wardens and have planned a drill but I need everything in place for the drill to make sense especially to the children.

Why all this all of a sudden? I started a Safe Schools program and had to tell myself I needed to get things sorted on the home front before going out there to correct others. A serious awakening! Lots of policies are in place and we never fail to train the staff so we are cool but I have to keep reminding myself to maintain Safety on my end even if no one is watching.

2. Jargon just doesn’t do it for me

Some of you do textbook talk. Too much jargon just proves to me that many Safety professionals just study and cram. It’s all I see on LinkedIn – it’s like some kind of competition. When there is a discussion about a safety related topic, I have observed some Safety pros use too much Safety grammar and definitions. Like word for word! It is ridiculous.

When you give me purely textbook speak, I lose some respect for you. I love simplicity and jargon free speak. What have you learnt on the field? What can you bring to the table? Na don’t give me textbook talk. Ain’t moved. Use your experience not the textbook.

3. Safety can be a drama queen!

Have you noticed how many of the technical aspects are pointless? Like someone invented them to give Safety a bigger reputation but it only ended up being a pain. Recently, I started a How-To section on this site because one of my readers likes to ask for help with some Safety tasks.

Have I ever had to calculate LTIF at work? No. Even when I was an employee, I never had to use it. Never. But then it is important for Safety pros to know how to calculate it – just in case so I wrote about it.

Why can’t we keep Safety simple and jargon free? Does that supposedly reduce our value in the market?

At the school, we also usually have this sign “WALK, DON’T RUN” around the pillars, corridors and on the walls before and after the first flight of stairs (we have just a ground floor and first floor). Somehow they got removed and were never replaced and it totally escaped me! Only to be reminded by the HSE guy who came to have a look at where we could have extinguishers stationed, to put up a “watch the stairs” sign.

I smiled when he mentioned it and said ok but in my heart I knew that wasn’t going to happen so I told him I would get it done myself lol. I truly hate those “watch the stairs signs” and I am strongly not for it. It’s a flight of stairs and yes we have to watch it. Just like getting a hot cup of tea and expecting a warning that the content is hot. That to me is just OTT (over the top).

The kids need to have the rules of walking and not running in their face always. They understand too well that it is to prevent falls, injuries and worse. I think that’s better than “watch the stairs”.

4. Risk is sometimes overrated

My understanding of risk is way different from the normal. Why look for risk where there is none or escalate a minimal one? One thing I have taken away from risk benefit which many of you may not agree with is that some things can be left alone or done peacefully without giving Safety a bad name. Yes prepare for the worst but why make it the best thing since sliced bread.

Don’t try to put people off Safety by scaring them with unrealistic risks. People have told me that as a Safety person I should know that it isn’t proper to wear really high heels.

Yes there is the risk of falling over and breaking my ankle and some other health issues but I’m not fazed. Yes they cause a lot of discomfort after a few hours and any wise girl knows to have a pair of flats close by. I am wise enough to not wear them everyday – I do just to church on Sundays and to the rare weddings and parties! So allow a girl live her life. Get over it people.

Ike keeping it Real and expecting some daggers.


Oh and by the way, Happy Fabulous Birthday to my Fabulous Sister Glamekizzle! The mother of Kizzle, the Lahsa Abso

Prfoessor Ike with Kizzle and Nana

Professor Ike with Kizzle (the black one) and Morgana (the white one)