Over the Christmas/New Year period one of my (guiltiest) pleasures is watching far more TV than I do for the rest of the year.
During the holiday period I love taking the opportunity to catch up on movies I’ve missed and revisit some old favourites. For me, one of the highlights this year was watching Bambi and being reminded of the very powerful messages about life (and death) which the film delivers to all generations.
Without a doubt, my favourite line in the film is when Thumper says “If you can’t say somethin’ nice then don’t say nothin’ at all” The world would certainly be a different place if more of us remembered that saying more of the time.
There’s no doubt that working in the world of health and safety sometimes requires very broad shoulders and a thick skin. Press coverage of ridiculous health and safety stories does appear to be diminishing and in this HSE’s 40th year there seems to be a good deal of recognition of what the organisation has achieved over four decades.
But what’s really rewarding is to read someone saying “somethin’ nice” about our achievements in the much more recent past.
I‘ve recently welcomed letters from a number of our stakeholders who have worked with HSE staff on the review and redrafting process of our legislation, guidance and ACOPs. These letters praise the work of HSE staff and the quality of the suite of regulation and supporting documents which are now in place.
One of the best examples of “somethin’ nice” was written by Mark Godden, a Mines and Quarry Engineer in a recent edition of Materials World. Mark describes the task which was taken on as “gargantuan” and claims to be “in awe of the achievement”. Thanks very much indeed, Mark, for this unsolicited feedback.
I know there are those that read this blog and still have reservations about the process of simplification and updating which we’ve been through. My point about “saying nothin’ at all” doesn’t mean I want to stop people expressing concerns, but rather a plea for constructive criticism and suggestions on how we can address the concerns and move forward not just stay where we are.
The paperwork is the framework which helps us all create our world class health and safety system, success (or failure) is down to people – or as I learned from another Disney movie “Our fate lives within us – you just have to be brave enough to see it” or in HSE’s own words …..”Be part of the solution”.