Author:brian-darlington

Sincerity is key

Sincerity is key 24th Jun 2022 Sometimes leadership is merely “time” and a “simple cup of coffee”. In January, I received a call from Mervyn, an old acquaintance of mine who had recently moved to Austria after joining a large multinational company. We agreed to meet up for a cup of coffee at one of the local Viennese cafes. We started talking about life in Austria, and a large part of the initial discussion was about Mervyn’s new company and […]

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Chernobyl and the dangers of a bullying culture

Chernobyl and the dangers of a bullying culture 7th Apr 2022 Based on a combination of facts taken from his own research, as well as both facts and fiction from the HBO miniseries Chernobyl 1986, our columnist reflects on how the show depicts the abuse of power and bullying nature of the leaders involved and those investigating the incident. Although a reproduction of real-life events, I am aware that the miniseries makes use of poetics to tell the story of […]

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Wait, I’ve got this one!

Wait, I’ve got this one! 8th Feb 2022 In this “rebranded*” rendition – a snippet from his latest book Humanising Safety, due to be published later this year – BRIAN DARLINGTON explores which approach is best in the risk and safety fields … policing or caring? I was walking with a colleague on a site in northern Russia some 13 years ago when we saw a man without any fall arrest equipment working on a pipe bridge. My colleague, who […]

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Addressing the elephant in the room

Addressing the elephant in the room 13th Dec 2021 As I am writing this article, I am involved in a large maintenance shutdown. Work activities are being conducted by teams of employees and contractors, with the numbers peaking at around 5 000 persons on site. One would think that there wouldn’t be space left for a mouse, let alone an elephant … To put these numbers into perspective, imagine having 12 Boeing 747 planes landing and taking off each day at […]

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Mantras and trade-offs

Mantras and trade-offs 18th Oct 2021 How do people interpret visuals such as tattoos and graffiti? Do we fully understand the various safety mantras used in industry? Are the “safety slogans” useful and what are the trade-offs? As Covid-19 restrictions eased in Europe, life returned to normal in some ways. Like many others, I took the opportunity to travel. Beause of my interest in semiotics, I decided to focus on signs, symbols and their significance during my trips and concentrate […]

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Envisioning through semiotics

Envisioning through semiotics 20th Aug 2021 Our columnist visits two Polish cities and discovers a rotating deer head in a church, which makes him reflect on the importance of paying attention … Recently I visited two medieval cities in the northern part of Poland, Chelmno and Torun (both bordering the Vistula River, which runs through parts of the country). In the 13th century, the State of the Teutonic Order emerged in this area, with its knights setting up and ruling […]

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Envisioning through semiotics – a flight between Vienna and Casablanca

Envisioning through semiotics – a flight between Vienna and Casablanca 17th Jun 2021 Our columnist took a walk in the gardens of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna to reflect on signs and symbols, and to interpret the thoughts conveyed by the sculptures of the time. This excursion led to an unexpected sight, however, which had its own teachings to offer. The gardens of the palace, including the parterre, which has 32 large sculptures along both sides, is a fantastic place […]

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Signs and symbols: are we overdoing it?

Signs and symbols: are we overdoing it? 15th Apr 2021 After an outing to Stadtpark, determined to write an article on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster investigation, our columnist decided to change the topic to signs and symbols in the workplace. I woke up early on the final day of February, a Sunday. With Covid restrictions still very much in place across Europe, and knowing that I needed to write the next article for my column, I decided to put my […]

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Learning from the Hudson River landing

Learning from the Hudson River landing 24th Feb 2021 After watching the film Sully, which is based on the real-life investigation into a water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in 2009, our columnist once again notes the importance of putting people first. The plane (an Airbus A320) was en route from New York City to North Carolina when it struck a flock of Canadian Geese (an event known as a bird strike) shortly after take-off from LaGuardia airport. As […]

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Do we care enough?

Do we care enough? 17th Dec 2020 His experience with medical professionals who were caring for his late wife led BRIAN DARLINGTON to ponder: within the field of health and safety, do we care enough? On 2 June 2011, my late wife Bela was seriously injured in an accident. Fighting for her life, she was airlifted to a neurological hospital in Austria. She had sustained numerous fractures to her face and head and was in a coma for a while. […]

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