The Fearless World of Professional Safety in the 21st Century (Paperback) book cover

The Fearless World of Professional Safety in the 21st Century

By Scott Gesinger

© 2018 – Routledge

152 pages

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Paperback: 9781138036567
pub: 2017-08-30
Hardback: 9781138036550
pub: 2017-08-22
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pub: 2017-08-30
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Professional safety is in danger of extinction. Safety professionals have become complacent and unfocused, ignorantly relying on an 80-year-old paradigm. Lazy gimmicks are substituted for the hierarchy of controls meant to be the foundation of the profession. A $10,000 investment in posters makes zero improvement in safety; a $10,000 investment in machine guarding upgrades can save lives.

By blending philosophy, history, and psychology, The Fearless World of Professional Safety in the 21st Century is revolutionary, offering an innovative approach with creative solutions to move a safety program past the malarkey that has devalued professional safety for decades. Using humor and professional experience within a discussion of historical events and published scientific findings, Scott Gesinger explores the history of how current safety practices developed and why these must change if the profession is to survive the 21st century. He discusses new professional philosophies based on best practices in industry, historical examples, scientific research outside of safety, and proven approaches from other disciplines which can successfully guide safety professionals into the future.

Gesinger provides a book for every safety professional that is candid, plain-speaking, and eminently approachable, while at the same time provides information that is new, challenging, and engaging.


'Enlivened by personal thoughts and examples this book serves up a refreshing blend of arts, science, anecdote and research and provides useful stimulus in uncertain times to provoke thought and reconsider actions.' — Professor Andrew Sharman CFIOSH FIIRSM FInstLM, author of From Accidents to Zero, Safety Savvy and Mind Your Own Business.

'This book presents a fresh perspective on the safety profession that is interesting, thought provoking, and sometimes controversial. Approachable and relatable, yet profound and challenging.' — Ron Gantt, Vice President and Principle Consultant at SCM Safety

"Just occasionally, a book comes along that is as refreshing as a cold beer at the end of a hot day’s hard graft. This latest offering from Routledge is one of those…there is more wisdom packed into these 150 pages than I have seen in any other safety publication. It offers a personal view that’s both full of warm humour and passionate about the safety adviser’s contribution to business success." — Paul Smith MA CFIOSH, A former Health and Safety Executive inspector, he’s now a specialist writer on safety and health topics, IOSH Magazine

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: It’s the End of the World as we Know It (And I feel Fine)
  2. Watch Jaws
  3. Something has to Change
  4. Written in Blood: The Death of General Patton
  5. Ergonomics: Welcome to the Jungle
  6. Ptolemy, Freud, and Heinrich Walked into a Bar
  7. The Time I Thought I Killed Myself with a Sign Post and a Nitrogen Cryogenic Cylinder
  8. Common Sense Skills / Common Sense Kills
  9. Everything I Need to Know about Behavior Based Safety I Learned from my Cats
  10. Gemba Walk This Way
  11. Safety Management System Title Match: Deming Versus Heinrich
  12. Written in Blood: Bhopal India
  13. If You Think Safety is Number One, I’ve got a Bridge to Sell Ya
  14. Identifying the Organization’s Many Swords of Damocles
  15. The Genus Python of the Safety World
  16. That Funny Little Scar on my Lip
  17. The Four Personality Types of Safety Committee Members and How to Engage Them
  18. Brett
  19. $12 Million says a Lot
  20. Does this make me Flotsam, or Jetsam?
  21. Safety Discipline Needs a Spanking
  22. Here I am, Stuck in the Middle with You
  23. Lift with Your Head
  24. Written in Blood: The Cocoanut Grove Fire
  25. DAF
  26. To Serve Man
  27. Snickergate
  28. Winston Churchill Said it Best

About the Author

Scott Gesinger, CSP, is a safety engineer and writer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth Master of Environmental, Health and Safety program and holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Minnesota.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety