EHS Compliance Regulations vs NFL Rules: Which one is more complicated?

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Mike Pereira looks like a nice man. He dresses well, speaks with dignity and when called upon to explain a referee call on the football field, he does so methodically, sometimes mechanically and always without the emotion of a sportscaster or a sports fan. For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Mike is a former Vice President of Officiating for the NFL, and currently works for FOX Sports and tells us his opinion on whether a ref’s call was good or bad and whether it should stand or be overturned. He reminds me of my CPA, who is excellent at crunching numbers, knows the tax code and loves that he knows it, and regularly saves me money on my tax returns. I don’t expect to have either of those guys in my living room, however.

Football is to me what I think it is to millions of others: Entertainment that takes my mind away from the daily grind. I want to yell at the refs, cheer for my team when it is winning and laugh at halftime sports analysts whose editorial quality is often significantly inferior to their hairdo (or lack thereof). I long for the days when the ref blew a call and I knew, WE ALL KNEW, that he had blown it. These days, no one, not me, not fans like me, not sports announcers or analysts, not players or coaches, and especially not the refs can agree on what a catch is, what a touchdown is, and sadly, what ISN’T holding.

Environmental regulations were once more difficult than football calls to decipher, but EH&S software technology has helped us create consistent and meaningful responses to these regulatory requirements. We can report with confidence, and we can demonstrate without hesitation, that our findings are accurate.

Why have the rules of football become so complicated? I understand that this is a sport of strategy, of X’s and O’s, of survival; but why are we, the fans, being roped into this complexity? These replays were designed to eliminate referee mistakes and to keep the game fair and the result correct, and especially, to remove any doubt. Have they? Don’t answer; this question was utterly ironic.

Passing a safety inspection at our workplace from a well-meaning but stern looking regulator is tough enough. Waiting for a man in a three piece suit with thick glasses to come on our TV screen and tell us whether our team just won or lost is more frustrating than an unmarked container on the production floor. Let’s eliminate them both!

Neither the new rules nor the official replays have made football results more accurate or the game more enjoyable. Even though this year’s champion, much like last year’s (and next year’s), will be remembered long after the blown calls have been forgotten, it is wrong for not only this year’s Detroit and Dallas fans who are heartbroken by, “the process”, but for all of us who are responsible for making this, the most popular sport in the world, to be mistreated, insulted, and worst of all, confused!!

If you’re a responsible EH&S professional you care about process safety and you want to know that your staff acts responsibly. But if you’re also a football fan, do you REALLY want to know, or care, what the “process of completing a catch” and what a “Football act is? I REALLY, REALLY DON’T!

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