Author:brian-darlington

Set your agenda aside

Set your agenda aside 30th January 2024 Often leaders and others employed in the risk and safety field believe they need to do the talking, tell others what to do, control and guide the discussions, and have all the answers. This should not be the case. Leaders should at times learn to suspend their agenda and listen to others tell their story. One would be amazed at what can be heard and learnt from others. In one of my previous […]

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Humanising safety

Humanising safety 6th December 2023 Our columnist highlights how any approach to safety can be humanised, with some practical examples from an annual maintenance shutdown at a Finnish plant. Having arrived in Finland for the start of the annual maintenance shutdown, and to support the commissioning of a plant that had been under construction for the past year and a half, I knew that the challenges would be tough at times. I felt, however, that we could overcome any hurdles […]

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The Rugby World Cup: An embodied feeling

The Rugby World Cup: An embodied feeling 20th October 2023 The 2023 Rugby World Cup is done and dusted – and South Africa has emerged victorious. Our expert columnist, Brian Darlington, says that rugby and health and safety in the workplace have much in common. Four years have passed since I watched the Springboks be crowned World Champions for the third time, equalling the record of the mighty All Blacks. Four years on, I have just spent two weeks in […]

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Learning is in motion: Austria to Turkey

Learning is in motion: Austria to Turkey 24th July 2023 After two weeks of attending extensive training in Vienna and prior to travelling to Istanbul to conduct training, a few of us decided to do something different. Over the weekend, we attended the Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.  Knowing that the traffic would get rather busy as we approached the town of Spielberg, we decided to leave Vienna at 08:00 and get to […]

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The King’s Coronation 

The King’s Coronation  22nd Jun 2023 While spending a couple of days in Lisbon, Portugal, our columnist was unexpectedly captivated by the King’s Coronation. The rituals, myths, and symbols got him thinking … My wife and I were spending a couple of days in Lisbon for a weekend away, planning to visit some of our favourite sites. Not being royalists, we were not that keen to spend the day watching the pompous ceremony of King Charles III’s coronation. However, as […]

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Scuba divers doing it right

Scuba divers doing it right 9th May 2023 Sitting on the patio of a water bungalow in the Maldives, I observed guests snorkelling and dive boats leaving and returning to the island each day. So, I thought to myself, what a perfect place to write an article based on divers doing things right. I had already written an article related to scuba diving some years before, but my views relating to safety have changed considerably in the ensuing four years […]

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Leadership: Time and a simple cup of coffee

Leadership: Time and a simple cup of coffee 27th Feb 2023 In my second book, Humanising Leadership in Risk, I included several external and personal stories to anchor concepts in reality, as well as care and leadership-related practices. This article is based on elements of one of the book’s chapters. Last year, I was on an annual maintenance shutdown at one of our large paper mills. Walking around the site with a senior colleague, we noticed a crane with its […]

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Mixed emotions: A result of groupthink

Mixed emotions: A result of groupthink 21st Nov 2022 Sitting at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, waiting to catch a flight to Europe from the country of my birth, I was reflecting on my trip to two well-known game reserves in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. I was inspired to write this article to share the range of emotions I felt about what I had experienced: from wonder to pride, followed by frustration and eventually extreme nervousness and embarrassment. The […]

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Understanding culture: myths and symbols

Understanding culture: myths and symbols 15th Oct 2022 I recently spent a couple of days in the Greek city of Athens and was, as always, awed by the cultural heritage of Ancient Greece. Similar to my time in Crete, some months ago, I received a deadline reminder for my next article. This time the subject matter was an easy choice, as I was truly inspired by the mythology, signs, and symbols observed during my semiotic-filled walks through the ancient city […]

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Safety is not always a choice you make

Safety is not always a choice you make 3rd Aug 2022 Enjoying my summer leave sitting on the patio of my apartment on the Greek island of Crete, sipping on a good cup of strong Colombian coffee, I opened my laptop to check if there was anything urgent that needed my attention at work. This is when I noticed an email reminding me of the deadline for my next Embodied Safety column. Gathering my thoughts and wondering what to write […]

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