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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

Infinite vulnerability

Infinite vulnerability
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In a similarly disruptive vein, another speaker at the SIA convention argued that we are so hopeless at determining likelihood when doing risk assessments that we should instead focus on vulnerability.

Gordon Bedford from Mattel Inc said that risk is cold and impersonal, while vulnerability focuses on the personal, particularly when dealing with the changing nature of work and a changing workforce: how vulnerable, he asked, is an older worker?

While the audience was still grappling with the notion of vulnerability he went on to introduce a second new idea, borrowed from James Carse’s notion that there are two types of game: finite games and infinite games.

A finite game, said Bedford, is something like rugby or cricket or your own KPIs. An infinite game, by contrast, is not bounded by time and everyone is a player. The purpose of the game is to keep the game going, to make moves and counter-moves, meaning only that which changes survives.

“Safety is an infinite game. It has no time limit, no winner and loser; even if we reached ‘zero harm’ how would we maintain it?”

Putting these two ideas together, he offered a new disruptive approach: vulnerable people as players within an infinite game. Taking Carse’s approach further, he introduced the idea that within an infinite game players can go on missions: effectively, small finite games within an infinite game.

“We ask leaders to execute specific missions – the sales leader leads our safe driving programme, for example, because his group are vulnerable.”



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Gordon Bedford
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From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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