Abstract When a person asks about pursuing a career in safety, the first question must be “What is your frustration tolerance?” Safety is an extremely demanding career. The problems to be handled are often diffuse and hard to come to grips with. The rewards are few and far between and often unconvincing. Nobody tells you what the next accidents are going to be. The importance and significance of safety in an organisation are vastly under recognised. The real results and rewards are in people not being damaged. It is often very difficult to know whether or not the overall likelihood of damage to people at work has been reduced. Over the last thirty years, safety has been struggling to emerge as a profession. Whilst a core of professional safety knowledge is steadily developing, a series of “fads or fashions” has flowed through safety practice in those years. The ideas are presented at conferences or introduced commercially, are tried diligently and subsequently discarded. Elements of those practices may remain.
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