Storytelling in Safety Management (1)
People think in stories - this is a fact. Try to remember “31, 5, 13, 18, 100, 14, 4”. Compare it to “31 people live in 5 different cities. 13 of them commute to work using public transport and 18 use personal vehicles. 100% of those driving have been involved in traffic accidents during their commute. 14 of them were using their seatbelts and did not receive any trauma, and 4 ended up in a hospital”. This is a silly example, but your memory will store it for a little while now - sorry about that :) We think in stories. We remember stories. So safety practitioners must use this in their job. I was investigating an incident last week. There were a lot of facts which seemed not connected to each other. Then I managed to put them on a visual timeline - and those facts turned into a clear story, helping company management make the right decision. I tell stories about incidents, procedures, plans and risks, and they work. I also teach front-line supervisors to tell stories, to make their toolbox talks and communication with staff more successful. One more way to use stories is to remember information. I did that a lot preparing for BCRSP and NEBOSH.