Burning Building Bathroom Blues | My Hot Water Needs Heating | SAFETY DOC PODCAST #67

PODCAST-This is the LAST May in 2018 – disheartening news as David apparently overlooked the other Mays of 2018. Perhaps he should unfollow the Mayan calendar? In this episode, Dr. Perrodin flies solo and revolves anecdotal stories to touch upon agency, purpose and situational awareness.

DIRECT LINK to MP3 of this Episode:  https://tinyurl.com/SDP67


A recent 2-alarm fire at his workplace (thankfully, it was a small blaze confined to a dryer) underscores David’s belief that kids and adults tend to handle the unexpected very well when previously informed of what to anticipate during chaotic events – or situations that move them from their comfortable, typical “torus” zone into temporary chaos. In previous episodes, Dr. Perrodin has provided empirical reasoning for why chaos is actually a good thing and that numerous studies have concluded people often make *sound decisions (*sound is more appropriate as “correct” implies that a decision must be convergent to achieve the desired outcome) during highly chaotic situations. Nonetheless, he shares that a co-worker asked to return to the building to use the restroom. Four separate student focus groups revealed a single request students had about the fire – after 20-minutes of standing patiently on the sidewalk, and hearing addition fire apparatus arrive at the facility, they wanted to know what was going on. David parallels this request for basic information to other crisis situations and notes that keeping people informed neutralizes anxiety and facilitates cooperation. Dr. Perrodin discusses ways to incorporate this “informing” process throughout other aspects of life.


Dr. Perrodin, who engages in various legal expert witness consulting, closes the episode by alerting listeners to an unsettling uptick in the practice of a human resources director placing an employee on leave due to an investigation. It’s a given that allegations of embezzlement or gross violation of job duties would warrant the employee being placed on either a paid or unpaid leave during the investigation. The difference in today’s HR practices, however, is two-fold. First, employees, both in management and non-management roles, are being placed on leave for more “subjective” allegations, such as, “contributing to a hostile work environment.” (What does that actually mean??) An example could be an employee that perceives a co-worker is not supporting a newly-created “safe space” in the work setting and files a complaint to HR per whatever process is outlined in the organization. Yes, claims can be that open to interpretation – note that the recipient of the hostile work environment is making a claim upon perception of behavior and interpretation of a definition that is broad. The second concerning characteristic of this trend is that the person placed on leave is immediately separated from their work email, electronic files and paper files. Locked out! Hence, documentation and records that can support the employee’s defense are not accessible by the employee. Now what? David shares that he contacted multiple experts versed in maintaining personal communications / records and none were able to offer advice on how employees should maintain critical documentation in this emerging era of more frequent, and more subjective allegations of violations of the code of employee conduct coupled to employees being separated from their documentation. This matter will be the core of a future show as Dr. Perrodin is seeking an expert who can offer insight into how to best protect yourself in the midst of an allegation.


Looking for Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD?

Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com