Why is Health and Safety a contradiction in terms? Some advice for Human Resource Managers

If a healthy mind and body can be associated with minimising fear, hence reducing insecurity, increasing confidence and so on – then why does a combination of health AND safety in policy documents and organisational habits actually cause the opposite – ie encouraging tendendencies to be risk averse, to be fearful and anxious – and hence feel less secure, less confident?

Being healthy is not the same as being safe. “Health and Safety” as a policy mantra has the makings of  a phrase which has a capacity for its own inbuilt contradiction and self destruction. It’s a fallacious concept behind which many human resource managers cower and attempt to frighten their resources into behaving and moving in particular ways. They would be clearer in their intentions if they were to relable their policies as “health and risk” or  “fearfulness and safety” or  “health and insecurity”.

Being risk-tolerant (and attractive even)  is possibly one of the key features that makes us healthy, alive individuals instead of cowered, withdrawn amoebae.

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