0300 – Safety as a Concept In Training and in Life

Sometimes it seems like we live in a world of rules. Often times these rules are in lists that are so long and complicated that they are impossible to “know” and even more difficult to follow and enforce. The barrage of rules can be so overwhelming that at times, by some, the rules are simply ignored. This obviously leads to the exact opposite effect that the rules themselves were intended to cause.  Today we are going to take a look at safety in training and how we can apply those principles to life.


Counter Productive Rules:

Recently I stopped to look at the rules that were posted in our local YMCA swimming pool.  There were a total of 11 rules listed one of which was, “No breath holding contests.”  It was really frustrating to read the rules that were trying to address very specific situations that were considered a danger and missing the big picture.  There was no mention of “Swim within your ability,” or any other rule that addressed safety as a concept.  When we have rules like, “No breath holding contests,” I always look for the rules that say, “Do not park your vehicles in the swimming pool,” and “No chainsaws allowed in the hot tub.”  We can never address EVERY safety concern with a rule and we need to stop trying.  When we attempt to cover it all specifically we will miss something, we will smother those we are trying to protect with minutia and we short circuit out goal of creating a safer environment.

Safety is a Concept:

We are training to live safer lives and so we want to avoid injury in training.

  • This is really safety as a concept
  • We can apply this same principle to life in general

Absolute Safety Cannot be Guaranteed

  • Even is you stay home in bed you face risk
  • Driving to the training site you face risk

What we do in training has to be carefully evaluated

  • Perceived benefit of training needs to significantly outweigh any actual or perceived risk.
    • Perceived Benefits
    • Actual Risks
      • Shooting without hearing protection
    • Perceived Risks
      • Based on miscommunication or misunderstanding
      • When we are emotionally uncomfortable it needs to be addressed.
      • Need to be clarified or the perception becomes a safety issue of its own
  • Pushing the risk beyond the benefit of any given drill is foolish.
  • When you are in training it is the instructors job to balance the benefits and the risks.
  • It is your job to make sure that you are comfortable with the risks.

Safety Rules and Procedures Have a Place In Training

  • Used to Mitigate Risks
  • Should address probable issues
  • Should be general in nature

In Training Safety is Ultimately the Responsibility of the INSTRUCTOR.

  • It is the instructor that has run hundreds if not thousands of students through the exercises that you are engaging in so they should have a solid understanding of how the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • It is your job to monitor your comfort level with the exercises and to speak up when your internal safety alarm goes ding.

The idea of Safety as a Concept comes to me from I.C.E. Training.

Remember in training and in life you are the one that has to live with the consequences.  Take the time to think about safety.  Look carefully at the relation ship of the risks compared to the benefits.  When you look at a situation you should see that the perceived benefits significantly outweigh the actual and perceived risks involved.  If not you are setting yourself up for unecessary safety issues.

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