When I was a lot younger, without the grey hair, which is now very evident, I visited as many British people do the United States, well Florida; it has to be said that many British people consider Kissimmee to be America and spent as you can imagine a lot of money on attending the theme parks. I remember on ride in particular, that in one of the Disney Parks, 'It's a small world.' How strange that should recall thoughts when preparing this paper but it struck me at the time. There was I for the first time thousands of miles from home enjoying what became the first in a succession of ‘overseas’ holidays and my Father had only in his short life travelled outside of the United Kingdom twice. It also struck me that I am attending what must be my tenth or eleventh ASSE PDC along with having also attended the Hawaiian Chapter PDC – the world in one generation is certainly shrinking, getting smaller in respect of opportunity and cost of travel and in communication.
The thought occurs to me that now with multi national and international corporations we are certainly in a ‘global village’ and that presents challenges in respect of understanding. Now let me make it clear that we should all strive for better communication. Communication I think is the real essence of being an effective safety professional but perhaps that is the subject of another paper.
Before we address the issue of this paper we should I think have some form of outline or definition as to the subject. So let me start with a definition:
Globalisation (or globalization) is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of worldviews, products, ideas and other aspects of culture.
I think that it is certainly evident from this conference that within the Health and Safety world we have responded to some of the challenges related to this process but perhaps have been overwhelmed with the detail of the process rather than thinking first of the principle.
Allow me just to clarify that rather bold statement. As a practicing safety professional you will be concerned in our own organisation about the ‘how’ about implementation of a systems which will deliver results in respect of reduced losses to the business. I am of the opinion that this must be tempered with sometimes looking at the broader consequences of not only what we do within our profession but also on society as a whole. Let us therefore return to basics and look at this idea of Globalisation.
Christine Lagarde head of the IMF during her 2014 Dimbleby Lecture commented: