"There's a fissure running through the expectation of what happens when we elevate 'safety' and feelings to a level of primacy. I think it creates a real disconnect people are struggling to parse."
"If safety is the priority, then lets just wrap ourselves in bubble wrap and drive at speeds approaching five miles an hour."
He's right. "Safety first" means risk second, or third, or fourth. If a job site or workplace prioritizes "your safety first" then someone else has to put your safety above everything else. Therefore taking the responsibility of your safety away from you. As Mike says, there's an unintended consequence of putting "safety first" on other people. It's come back to kick us in the throat. Now we have legions of soft-skinned ninnies who cede their safety, and other chunks of their lives like healthcare, finances, etc., to a third party. Like government. See also
isn't saying safety
important. What he is saying is your safety is
responsibility. It's not the responsibility of anyone else but you. Prioritizing safety above risk, leads to a general malaise about your own safety, and as a result, everything else. A point which bears repeating. As I have.
Surely you've seen the meme or read the adage "Success is outside your comfort zone." It's also outside your safe zone. You have to stretch a little, go beyond, and often engage in something which isn't "safe" to achieve something great.
Sadly few are willing to do so. Perhaps the culture is in some ways responsible.