Common Sense

Common Sense

is not so common.   Voltaire

Recently there have been some discussions around some major tragedies where lives have been lost. With these discussions the question often comes up where is the ‘Common Sense’ that would have prevented such an accident. Cambridge Dictionaries  say that “common sense consists of knowledge, judgement, and taste which is more or less universal and which is held more or less without reflection or argument.” We all have differing levels of common sense depending on many factors i.e age, experience. Back in the dark ages ‘common sense’ told us that the earth was flat and the sun revolved around us. More recently ‘common sense’ told us that nicotine, asbestos, arsenic, paraquat were safe. Today we no better but we still don’t know everything.

‘Common Sense’ is only a small factor when it comes to a fatal or severe accident. An accident is often like a poker game where we are waiting for the 4 aces to come our way: These aces can come in the form of: weather conditions, fatigue, equipment failure, poor or no safety equipment, inexperience, physical strength, shortcuts and many others. It is these aces partnering together that generally cause a tragic incident. For example you have probably many times run across the road through traffic with no tragic repercussions . But one day that you decide to take a shortcut and run across the road, the road is wet and slippery, you are wearing jandals, a car is speeding up the road – you slip on the white line and fall over in front of the car – Four aces! So let’s drop the call for more ‘common sense’ and start looking at the real factors that cause accidents, factors that we can change because lets face it common sense is not a subject we can teach

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