Safety Lessons From Star Wars


Ever given that first seeing Star Wars as a infant, I become hooked. Like such a lot of others, I used to pretend to be a Jedi, jumping off of gadgets even as brandishing a toy Light Sabre. As my Mother might inform you today, many hundreds of bucks’ well worth of damage became finished, and lots of neighbours traumatised, while I became in ‘Jedi Training’.

As I’ve grown older, I even have now not had time to retain my Jedi schooling, a lot to the delight of my Mother and the Neighbourhood. Instead I even have opted to accept a task as a National Health, Safety Environment and Quality Manager for Alliance Power and Data, based in East Perth, Western Australia. My love of Star Wars but, is as strong as the day as I first noticed it.

After recently re-looking the entire Star Wars collection, I even have seen it in a very new mild. It occurred to me that despite the fact that the Jedi’s were hugely smaller in variety, they had been nonetheless able to compete towards a miles larger navy, with the aid of only implementing and applying a few aspects which might be now considered to be the fundamentals of an Occupational Health and Safety System.

Lesson One: Incident Investigations

It’s a unhappy factor on your existence when you recognise that best yourself and a choose handful of pals and own family may be trusted. Remember while Obi-Wan Kenobi used the ‘Jedi Mind Trick’ at the incident investigating Storm soldiers? Even though they are Jedi’s, the portrayed ‘true-men’, the act itself does provide a strong case that individuals trying to keep away from prosecution, no matter inherently excellent or terrible, will use any means at their disposal to be found now not responsible.

Many instances even as on web site, I found myself caught in the middle of an Incident Investigation such as a sandstorm. Almost each Occupational Health and Safety Professional can relate to this. Why do I call it a sandstorm? Well it’s much like a regular sandstorm within the barren region; unprepared, you recognize that you’re going to get belted from each path for an undefined and prolonged time frame. You additionally know that it’s going to inflict ranging tiers of pain; each intellectual and physical, ensuing in you doubting and thinking your personal competencies and beliefs to your role. Add to this the reality which you without a doubt cannot see what to do or in which to go until after the sandstorm settles and ultimately clears.

Like maximum others, my wellknown incident investigation sandstorm protected;

Several differing variations of the unfolded occasions,
Several differing sequences of occasions,
Several differing hands of blame being pointed, and
An abundance of select words of the English language getting used both in the direction of myself or others.

I may not lie, for the duration of these times I desired not anything extra than my own fully functioning mild sabre.

So how can we plan the simple fact that we are going to be misled?

The Jedi’s had a Council that discussed matters, with a little inexperienced man that might see into the destiny. From my revel in, groups have had several degrees of Council’s and Committees, however lack the ability of the use of stated little inexperienced guy at their disposal.

With this in mind, imposing a robust Incident Investigation Procedure is a good start. This can include the documentation of; Preliminary Reports, Witness Statements, Accident and ICAM/Taproot findings and implementation of required movements. The fact is among the lines of these kinds of hand written statements blended. It’s as much as the Safety Professional to ensure they may be now not treated like a Stormtrooper, and are the victim of some other’s ‘Jedi Mind Trick’ at the same time as investigating.

Lesson Two: Leading From the Front

I’ve been there, you’ve got been there, we have all been there. Everyone has at some point of their life, had a chairman who walked round believing they may be either Genghis Khan or Adolf Hitler. Both influential individuals used fear inside their company to obtain what they desired. Ok, so maybe a piece overdramatic with the overall stereotype of a boss, however take into account that Khan fell off his horse due to fatigue and Hitler poisoned himself. Either way both left their employer early because of the tradition they implemented and nurtured.

Moving away from the quick history lesson of historic Dictatorial lunatics, in Star Wars, Queen Amidala dominated Naboo. Besides from the truth that I in my opinion might do something for Natalie Portman, her topics in her rule additionally adore her. She makes use of; ahead questioning, fairness and fights for the rights of her people even as maintaining a Diplomatic mind-set at the same time as ruling over her parts. She has the honor of her business enterprise and leads from the the front when required. So am I incorrect in declaring that this is a good instance of a CEO and General Manager whilst beginning change with protection?

Seeing Miss Portman strolling around along with her subjects, defending her ‘workplace’ with several handguns, grew to become a 6ft tall, 105kg male right into a love-struck drooling pre-teen. Like her servants, I could be part of her cause and comply with with out ever questioning her selections.

Now my present day boss is in his thirties and married. If he copied Queen Amidala’s instance and ran around the workplace with a handgun, it’d be a purpose for situation that might more than in all likelihood involve the offerings of the West Australian Police. The underlying precept but is there that if an agency is extreme about bringing around alternate in safety, it have to be led by means of a figurehead of a business enterprise who can stroll and communicate safety.

This figurehead required to drive this alteration, is an individual or group that has not most effective the honor, but the consider of the team of workers, at some point of all levels of the organisation.

Lesson Three: Use the Resources Available

Han Solo turned into hired by way of Luke Skywalker to aid him to journey to Alderaan. His short time period purpose changed into to rescue the Princess Leia. Luke did not have the essential device or competencies to carry out the sort of task with the aid of himself on my own, so required the outdoor help of Han Solo and Chewbacca to reap his quick-term aim. The same may be said for Jabba the Hutt in hiring Jango and ultimately Boba Fett to carry out bounty searching work on his behalf.

Without the hiring of subcontractors both Luke and Jabba would now not of been capable of reap their quick time period dreams.

In protection, setting up and approving the chosen Sub-Contractors may be the difference between brief term goals being executed, or failing miserably. Checks for Pre-Qualification for selection want to be done. Information on; insurances, available scopes of work and examples of contractor capabilities to carry out said duties are essential in making sure that the outsourced paintings does not impact on the name of the commercial enterprise. Measures to ensure the contractor has manner at their disposal to carry out the task both adequately and inside a scope of time, ought to be covered in an companies protection system. This leads us well into the subsequent lesson.

Lesson Four: Always Do Your Research

Luke, mate, critically, she is your twin sister. I can flip the blind eye to the reality that on the time he failed to recognize, however sadly the same good judgment cannot be implemented to mistakes with protection.

Background checking capability personnel has now come to be an enterprise popular. Applying with the equal precept as ‘Lesson One: Always Plan to be Misled’, an company or PCBU wishes to test the validity and integrity of the persons involved in their undertakings, to defend the enterprise.

So if Luke had waited, and accomplished all the industry fashionable tests earlier than embarking to enlist Princess Leia into his company, might prevented tarnishing his name?

A Safety Professional should include of their Occupational Health and Safety System;
Character References Checks,
Previous Work History Checks,
Validity of Licences and
Qualification/Education Received Validity.

Working intently with a Human Resources Department is continually beneficial as in latest years, Occupational Health and Safety has moved in on territory formerly owned and ruled with the aid of a HR Department.

Lesson Five: Don’t Market to Children

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace might have been an great film, if Jar-Jar Binks turned into merely a background person. The backlash experienced from the creation of Jar-Jar into the film franchise, prompted George Lucas to rethink and re-write the closing movies, allocating him as minimum strains as feasible. Lucas himself admits that the man or woman turned into located and centered to draw kids to the franchise. The individual was basically eliminated from all future movies, as it changed into damaging the reputation of Mr Lucas’ enterprise.

So why the uproar? Simply placed, he turned into an fool, cracking unfunny jokes, requiring regular babysitting and normally now not taking note of anything that any person in authority could train him to do. In brief, no longer a version worker to have in any organization, no mind preaching protection to.

With administrative center fatalities in Australia for the monetary 12 months 2010 at 124, and the equal period in 2009 at 177, Safety Professionals can in reality not have enough money to have any personnel exhibiting trends of Jar-Jar Binks inside their company. Safety Systems are designed and implemented to guard the workforce, but just like the antique announcing goes, ‘you can lead a horse to water’. Unfortunately, people exhibiting Jar-Jar like characteristics can most effective be dealt with by using following the example of Mr Lucas; to take away them from the agency earlier than they purpose harm to the popularity of the business.

Lesson Six: Train Your Workforce

The ‘Imperial Army’ is of remarkable length, majority together with Stormtroopers. Never inside the Star Wars series, do you notice any shape of training being administered to the Sith Army. None, whatsoever. No long montage footage of them in schooling at all. The result of which, has triggered a whole army of those who do now not understand the way to shoot their blaster at their goal in a straight line. Sure, every every now and then one gets lucky, but for the sheer quantity of numbers, the facts for ‘hit to miss’ ratio would be appalling.

This begs the question that if the Dark Lords mounted a HSEQ Department to monitor and overview a few Key Performance Indicators, and employed a Trainer/Assessor for his or her schooling programs, should they of modified the eventual final results of the struggle?

The Jedi’s have been significantly smaller in variety, but administered a broadly appeared and revered education application, known during the Universe. It became especially designed to construct abilties and understanding of an people use of the ‘the pressure’. This schooling software held a positive degree of respect all through fashionable society and the Universe as an entire. Every Jedi knew the; technique, schooling necessities and statistics required to be received, to progress to the next stage. A more potent Jedi, supposed a more potent Jedi corporation.

OK I admit that the Jedi’s had some hiccups on the manner, however I do not assume I’m going to damage the film for every person by means of announcing that in the end, the Jedi’s received.

The identical may be said for schooling of a enterprise team of workers. Companies are realising that by way of elevating the extent of the standard in their popular worker via schooling and training, they boost the exceptional of work being produced by their business enterprise. Pretty simple in idea absolutely, software but is in which it will become tricky.

Qualified Trainer/Assessors are more in demand than ever. Finding one with enjoy, no mind one in any respect is near impossible. Similar to when a younger Luke Skywalker was searching to gain knowledge of, handiest two Jedi’s had been rumoured to be in existence. These two Jedi’s were Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. Obi-Wan turned into in determined inside the wilderness and Yoda had retired, refusing to teach each person and living near a swamp.

Much like Trainer/Assessors today, most are either following Obi-Wans instance, and are in the wilderness with a Mine Site, or retired and refusing to educate all and sundry, like Yoda.

Ensuring a fully equipped team of workers additionally aids in lowering the dangers associated with workplace incidents and fatalities. If you forget about Star Wars III: Clone Wars, where every Jedi, bar a handful are brutally slaughtered, the Jedi’s had a pretty low Loss Time Injury Rate.

So if we as Safety Professionals need to reduce the quantity of LTI’s and incidents as a whole, we require a schooling application worthy of a Jedi. This training software but has to make sure you do no longer hire all people named Anakin Skywalker.

Lesson Seven: Expand the Culture – The Indigenous Are Allies

In Star Wars I-III, allegiances had been selected and an Alliance became fashioned to protect the extra accurate of the Council. This Alliance consisted of many differing races, from all varying reaches of the Universe. A body of workers changed into built, with each character race having a selected talent set which strengthened the employer.

OK readers, here’s a revelation which a lot of us appear to neglect, Australia is ‘terra nullius’: land that belongs to no one. It does not remember if you’re seventh generation Australian, it’s not yours. After the landmark Mabo case decision in 1992, and the subsequent Native Title Act of 1993, the law now states in black and white that it’s miles no longer ‘terra nullius’. The Native Title Act of 1993 paved the manner for Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders to commercial litigation lawyers reclaim the land which was forcefully removed from them, due to the fact that the advent of the First Fleet on Australian shores in 1788.

So in Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi, we met the Ewoks, the Indigenous land owners of Endor. Presumably living there for lots generations, the Ewoks had hooked up their very own; colonies, customs, tradition and beliefs. Now the Jedi’s and the Rebel Alliance required the assistance of the Ewoks to gain their desired intentions. Instead of invading their land and enslaving the indigenous proprietors, like the First Fleet, the Jedi’s worked with and along them. With using generation, particularly a robotic named C-3P0, they were able to build the bridge required to create a relationship among the two differing installed companies and work collectively closer to a commonplace goal.

Now some thing this not unusual aim is in our society, I’ll go away as much as the two disputing events to determine.

Whilst on the Ewoks place of birth, the Rebel Alliance educated the indigenous populace, growing their capability to carry out of their natural surroundings. It aided their commonplace purpose. So if this worked for them, why can’t it paintings for us?

Many companies now have Indigenous and Multi-Cultural Employment Opportunities. Australia is blessed with being a multi-cultural nation. Personally, I have had the privilege of working alongside people no longer handiest of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, however from numerous differing international locations, with widely contrasting cultures, customs and ideals. Between the two people, we shared records which furthered each our expertise and knowledge to perform our operating responsibilities higher.

So what are the lessons to take from here?

Firstly, for two hugely different societies, a not unusual intention must be found.

The intention, each brief and long term, ought to be useful for everyone concerned. Like with most conferences between two parties which can be massively exceptional, there’s usually going to be instances which might be irritating and annoying. The Ewoks nearly cooked and devoured their future work colleagues upon their first assembly! However they mounted a common goal and carried out a plan. The entire time they had been surrounded with the aid of those who failed to need their plan to thrive into fruition but, by operating collectively, both parties performed their commonplace goal.

Another lesson to analyze, pertains to using the identical theory and application of the Jedi’s schooling of the Ewoks.

A aim of a Safety Professional ought to be to make sure that the records contained in schooling programs and safety documentation is easily understandable to every body and everyone. I even have always based my structures at the ‘KISS’ technique, ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’. This is my own manner of making sure that personnel with restricted ability and use of the English language can nevertheless obtain a Duty of Care. This utility of the Duty of Care pertains that they receive the equal assessment level and outcomes of a safety schooling bundle, as the personnel who are fluent with the English language. This aids in lowering the risk of incidents as a result of cultural and language obstacles.

Lesson Eight: Personal Protective Equipment

So inside the opening scenes of Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker is patrolling a baron sub-zero surroundings, even as sporting layer after layer of clothing, designed to create and maintain body warmth inside the cold surroundings.

After being held captive through a native Wampa, Luke is capable of continue to be alive inside the surroundings, thanks to the clothes that were issued to him. The PPE used inside the surroundings become conceivable and applicable to his operating duties.

Compare this to the Sith. The Sith Army wears uniform armour, with the not unusual understanding that it is surely no match for the Jedi’s Light Sabre or Blaster. So with that in thoughts, why retain carrying it?

Using the instance of the Sith’s non-realistic use of the armour, organisations have to make sure that their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is attainable and relevant to be used within the personnel.

Like the Stormtroopers, it’s far an impressive photograph for all personnel of an agency to be uniform, but the truth is, differing components of the organization require differing items of Personal Protective Equipment to make sure they stay alive whilst appearing diverse operating duties.

Lesson Nine: Women in the Workforce

The Rebel Alliance seemed to be the only birthday celebration in a galaxy some distance, a ways away to hear of Equal Opportunity Employment. Given that the 2 women in query were in truth royalty, they nevertheless had been the best prominent women in the franchise.

The Sith on the other hand, had none. What could Germaine Greer have to say approximately that I marvel? They failed to exchange their device to consist of girls, in what could be taken into consideration a male dominated enterprise. Similar to many Mine Site’s a decade in the past, ladies were stereotyped by way of the Sith, and now not blanketed of their plans for domination of the Universe.

Thankfully times have modified in latest years, wherein females are actually performing responsibilities previously owned only by guys.

With this in mind, a protection machine desires to encompass the changes to the male: woman ratio of the workforce. It’s a scientific reality that with guide dealing with, a 120kg male miner might be capable of lift a heavier item quite simply, in comparison to a female miner that weighed 1/2 that. So with the modifications to society to what changed into formerly notion of as a ‘male function’, does your protection device offer an surroundings that reduces the danger to females in a male ruled area?

Implementing provisions for female workers may be as easy as buying PPE designed for ladies, or offering extra training in regions such as guide coping with. The inclusion of Work Plans for at some stage in and publish being pregnant also are useful to make sure your employer increases the quantity of Jedi’s for future years.


So as you can see, I’m nevertheless in love with Star Wars in any case these years. I’m a self-confessed nerd in relation to the franchise. As normal, I’ve thought manner too much into the films and used it as a platform for writing about any other love of mine, Occupational Health and Safety. But I like to assume that I have a valid point.

So if a Safety Professional follows the Jedi’s instance and ensure that they; set up, enforce, monitor and overview the above ‘instructions’, will the system prevent the agency from ending up just like the Imperial Empire? Like previously stated in ‘Lesson Six: Train Your Workforce’, in concept it’d, however utility is where it turns into difficult.

“Fear leads to anger, anger ends in hate, hate ends in suffering” -Master Yoda

Fear of not knowing or information how to thoroughly appearing a undertaking, can change into hate. This hate either becomes targeted closer to a employees dismiss for either: their personal employer, their co-people fitness and safety, or their own health and safety. From this hate, it is able to grow to be suffering, as one of the formerly mentioned three parties, are exposed to varying kinds of capacity struggling, ranging from medical or monetary.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *