Today it is the subject of many publications and discussions. There are probably already scientific dissertations on this subject.
Let me give you the reasons why people sometimes follow them. Professionally I deal with threats and ensuring the safety of people and their property. Over these 20 years, I have noticed that whether it concerns a fire, explosion, contamination or construction disaster, on a domestic scale or a large plant, the reasons for following the recommended technical solutions or safety procedures are usually similar:
- Legal consequences – the most effective argument reaching risk calculators, with which only “brave players” with an anarchist attitude or those who cannot afford to introduce legal consequences argue. It should be added, however, that this argument is only effective when it is perceived as obligatory for application, and here, for example, the nomenclature used in legal acts in the form of “should”, which in colloquial language does not mean coercion. Additionally, when given legal requirements are not enforced or their enforcement is limited by legal doubts, the value of this argument weakens.
- Fear – fear caused by a real event with a similar threat or resulting from a presentation, e.g. during training. This fear may concern both health and life concerns, but also financial consequences. There is a lot field for the authors of expert opinions, trainings or safety procedures, because a good example can work wonders. Unfortunately, it has an expiration date, most probably saw a tragic accident while driving a car, after which it drove much slower, but for how long?
- Trust – decisions to follow given recommendations, without introducing them on the basis of warrants under penalty … is caused by trust in the body / person issuing them. This is the optimum that should be sought, because the durability of such decisions, in my experience, is definitely the longest. The problem is that it requires significant work from both decision-makers and audiences, and initial confidence in the former from the start.
In order to achieve trust, listeners should believe that:
- you have an idea of what you are talking about (authority) – self-confidence cannot be supported by insolence and treating the audience in advance,
- the recommended procedures are aimed at ensuring the safety of the audience, and not primarily the decision-makers – this is often the most difficult because people seek, not without reason, primarily the interests of the other party.
The above is also so difficult because if the security procedures are effectively designed and implemented then nothing will happen… and in such case how to prove their validity.