These are the famous words uttered by so many senior managers and directors, while in shock, after a workplace disaster.
Why does this happen? Firstly, nothing in the monthly safety report or annual review of the Key Risk Register hinted at such a catastrophic loss scenario. Subsequently, each successive “positive report” increased the false impression of low risk and a sense that good controls were in place, when in reality the precarious situation was just waiting for an adverse circumstance to trigger the calamity.
We have also noticed many safety managers concentrate on reporting all the “good stuff” they are doing, and not on the things they have not had time or budget to review or develop effective and sustainable programs for. They mistakenly believe to report such things may adversely reflect on their own hard work or commitment, rather than on systemic inadequacies in organisational resourcing or processes.