The Way We Live

Key Themes

  • Constant vigilance
  • Intervention/safety conversations
  • Safety at home/safety at work
  • Hazard awareness
  • Consequences

Target Audience

Anyone at any level working in a potentially hazardous environment.


What sort of a person saves lives? Richard Donnelly tries to be that person. A tragedy which befell him and his wife Marie changed forever the way they live their lives. Every action is scrutinised, every risk identified and every method challenged. This is safety evangelism of the highest order, but in this case it comes with a cost. Zero tolerance sounds fine in theory but is much harder to implement without upsetting and offending people along the way. When a younger colleague offers to help Rich and Marie move house the scene is set for a series of painful and dramatic discoveries.


Rich: We’re not having a go at you, Stuart. But you know how much emphasis we put on safety at work? Marie and I do the same at home.

Stuart: (LAUGHING) Do you have STOP cards?

Rich: More or less. We don’t tolerate anything we see as potentially unsafe.

Stuart: I think you can take this too far. If you got obsessed about the lurking danger from household items, you’d never get out of bed.

Rich: We’re not obsessed, Stuart, but we do ask ourselves – is there a potential hazard here?

Stuart: But you can’t eliminate danger! I mean electricity is dangerous, but you still use it!

Rich: With care.

Stuart: Do you wear rubber boots and stand on a rubber mat when you plug your toaster in?