EHSDA Shorts: Safety Culture in Media

On this week’s episode of EHSDA Shorts, we hear from Louis Wustemann, writer and speaker on health, safety and sustainability issues, and Malcolm Staves, global vice president of health and safety at L’Oréal, about some examples of safety culture in media, specifically, the Star Wars saga. Tune in to hear their insights.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

Question: What are some examples of safety culture in Star Wars?

Wustemann: Let’s have a look first of all at the good safety culture in the saga. And I think that that for me has to be the rebel forces, whether it’s latterly or against the 1st Order or initially against the Imperial forces.

I think that that is an example of, I hadn’t said it yet because we were talking about it before we came on, it’s a generative safety culture or an interdependent safety culture. People have each other’s back.

People use initiative to protect themselves and each other, which is kind of right at the virtuous end of the of the Bradley curve and up the top of the safety ladder.

It’s when the attack on the Death Star, the way that some of the fighters, the Reds, are trying to lure fire away from whoever’s trying to next get the bomb down the chute.

You know, in the Empire Strikes Back in episode 5, the way that the troops go out looking for Luke and Han when they’re lost in the snow on Hoth. [They are] mutually caring and supportive, and people matter.

Staves: Yeah, definitely. But also in the wider sense, I think once you get to that interdependent type of culture, like we see across all the Star Wars films, in fact, is that it’s not only just about looking after ourselves and our teammates, but it’s also looking after the people around us and taking care of the vulnerable, taking care of the people that actually need our help and support.

And maybe they see the dark side, maybe they don’t see safety. If we think about non-safety as being the dark side, not really getting safety and all the rest of it. And I bet people out there, they know a lot of people that just don’t get it, right?

But everybody’s on the journey and I’m sure we’re going to come up with the Darth Vader journey where he ends up at the end, sort of like seeing the light and all the rest of it and wanting forgiveness.

And that’s the same as a safety journey. You know, an individual doesn’t always think safety is brilliant. It’s not for them, it’s for the old, it’s for somebody else, etcetera. Until something happens to them very often.

And then they start on that journey towards what you described as interdependence, whereby they’re not only looking after themselves, but the people around them, and also what I call the wider family.