Seven Deadly Sins! EHS would head nowhere!

#65 Not the 7 Deadly Sins that take you to hell.

  • 1 Gula (gluttony)
  • 2 Luxuria/Fornicatio (lust, fornication)
  • 3 Avaritia (avarice/greed)
  • 4 Superbia (pride, hubris)
  • 5 Tristitia (sorrow/despair/despondency)
  • 6 Ira (wrath)
  • 7 Vanagloria (vainglory)
  • 8 Acedia (sloth)

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From EHS world standpoint, I see learning never happens, Incidents of same type repeats, Spills, leaks, fire, illness, injuries occur. ” 

Every day, people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – more than 2.78 million deaths per year. Additionally, there are some 374 million non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses each year, many of these resulting in extended absences from work. –ILO.

So, 2.78 Million deaths, is around 1000 Deaths a day, 40 per hour and 1 every 2 min or so! By the time I finish this blog, good 10 people would have lost their lives at workplace or illness that they carried from their workplace! Why? Why lessons are not learned? 

I attribute this to the 7 sins at Workplace. In Indian context this is equal to Gandhi’s monkey! See No Evil, Speak no Evil, Hear no evil in a larger sense. Leaders and management do not want to hear bad news. 

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So what are the 7 SINS, I see, as I go across:-

  1. Chaos, Disorder, Conflict, Selected input filtered. “An Input, NOT THE INPUT”
  2. Lost focus, misplaced priorities, Engrossed in routine, missing big pictures. Absence of linking EHS Strategy to EHS Operating plan. 
  3. Confusion, Chaos, Disorder, Entrophy is highest. Absence of Risk based engagement.
  4. Absence of measurable metrics to judge performance, any number would do.
  5. Very very poor or absence of any dialouge, Next to nothing in communication. 
  6. Enjoying status quo, no will or desire to change and bring in improvements. 
  7. Absence of policies, procedures, even if exist, it is superflous or violated every time or impractical to follow. People quietly violate willfully even knowing consequences.

Ofcourse, the main factor is your “System is as Strong as your Weak Link” many organisations would not know their weak link. Also laced in absence of visible felt leadership.

But the biggest surprise far beyond “Safety” is the absence of “Empathy” a key emotional intelligence ingradient. I feel for you, I empathise for you, I can relate to what happening to you, are all totally missing. It is all about I, ME, MYSELF in most of the places! Also the ranting that is going on with opinion on everything gives very less hope in doing anything to reduce injuries/illness or improve performance from leadership standpoint. I am reminded of the famous saying, “IQ gets the job, EQ(Emotional Quotient) gets you promotion to stellar career path! Many leaders, including EHS professionals, do not get it! 

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More I see the mess, I am reminded of Peter Principle.

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Also horrible is the existence of “SILOS” within organisations. Even Jews/ Palestine people may exchange data, idea but not folks within same function between two entities. The insecurity between EHS folks amongst locations within same organisation, same neighborhood is also frightening. Even in our wildest dream when knowledge hoarding could have been the order of the day in 1980s, 90s it was hardly ever done!! 2017 in the age of internet you hoard data / information /  knowledge? Give me a break? God bless you all!! I am also concerned by the select “ESH Clique” (Cartel could be the right word!!) which is a very bad sign. 

I am not providing solutions, I have posted enough! Even my last post on Crystal ball grazing for 2018, sees no immediate hope from Indian context. Like the Indian joke, of  7 1/2 years of Saturn influence that creates hell lot of trouble, ill luck, disaster; and after that we get used to it so even mundane things makes us happy. We may also get used to the rut. But surprising discovery is EHS professionals are not doing anything so they would be in the rut, going nowhere!! 

Good luck and God Bless.



1600 Hrs. 

PS: 1900 Hrs: I got messages on whatsapp on EQ, IQ. I would post a detailed blog soon ! Emotional Quotient /Intelligence only get you promoted.  IQ is outdated. EQ covers, “Self awareness, Social Awareness, Motivation, Empathy, Soical Skills. Thanks for feedback. eq-vs-iq-4-638


Author: Karthik B; Orion Transcenders. Bangalore.

Lives in Bangalore. HESS Professional of 30+ yrs experience. Global Exposure in 4 continents of over 22 years in implementation of Health, Environment, Safety, Sustainability. First batch of Environmental Engineers from 1985 Batch. Qualified for implementing Lean, 6Sigma, HR best practices integrating them in to HESS as value add to business.

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