Adaptation at sea: Hindsight and foresight

It’s 4PM and a container ship is getting ready to depart from port. The crew has had a long day going through an intensive safety audit with a company superintendent onboard. Now the mate is dealing with last minute cargo manifests. Cargo lashing is still not completed by the shore gangs. The engineers are waiting to test the main engines but for this the gangway needs to be cleared off from the quayside. The … Continue Reading ››

How to improve OHS through Human and Organisational Performance

Understanding how Australian, or indeed international corporations fare with regards to Human and Organisational Performance (HOP) requires us to reflect upon both what we measure and what optimal performance looks like. The term Human and Organisational Performance describes the interactions and interdependencies of humans and organisa- tions in the execution of work. Used within a professional practice context, it has come to be paradigmatic of a broad range of relativ- ist and … Continue Reading ››

Learning Teams, Learning from Communities

Over the last decade, I have spent a lot of time listening to operational, technical, specialist, support and managerial staff in small groups around Europe. The conversations – aimed at learning about safety – have changed over the years. What started off as strongly facilitated workshops to interrogate safety culture questionnaire results, became only loosely based on questionnaire results, and more on what mattered to participants, but still with predetermined issues in mind. Finally, the conversations became much more open still. … Continue Reading ››

The London Luton Airport Safety Differently Journey

I hear lots of people saying how much they like the principles of safety differently, but just do not know how, or where to start with this as none of the books tell you how to do it. As my time at London Luton Airport draws to a close, I’m going to try to summarise the journey from a traditional approach into embracing a new focus based on the safety differently framework. When I first started at Luton, there … Continue Reading ››

If your car dashboard was run by a safety performance system

  I recently pondered that if your car dashboard performance indicators, fuel level, speed, and oil pressure, operated under the mechanisms of a safety performance system, what would be the result? Over the past two decades, safety resourcing, focus, and intervention have been subjugated by performance management dogma, contending that “safety” can only be present as an expression of its measurement in a zero harm paradigm. Within this paradigm, and my observations across numerous … Continue Reading ››

Lean and Safety Differently

Over the last 6 months two things have really grabbed my attention and made me think how I, as a safety practitioner, can try to influence and have a part in creating a safer environment for all those who are employed in the organisation I work for. These two things are the Safety Differently approach and Lean Safety thinking. This in turn led to many conversations on whether these two subjects actually work together or are they opposing … Continue Reading ››

Dirty Harry Safety (Go ahead, make me safe)

In the weeks after the great Bunnings sausage saga of 2018 the outcry about just how silly some safety decisions are brought a wry smile to my face and has provided many with a humorous analogy on why we should focus on high consequence risk. Although I have seen a hot works permit and a safe work method statement for the site barbecue, thankfully almost all top tier construction companies have a focus on high consequence risk, be that … Continue Reading ››

December Update

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and is looking forward to an exciting 2019! 2018 has been an interesting year. We had some ups and downs and we even got hacked! But now we are on a better server. Most important though, is that we had some very interesting posts in 2018! I hope you have a chance to read them and post your thoughts. It's really important that your voice is heard as part … Continue Reading ››

Restorative Just Culture Checklist

OK, I relent. I said in “I am not a policy wonk” that I wouldn’t turn Safety Differently into a checklistable, to-do algorithm or procedure. Well, now I have. Or at least in small part.
As most of you know, there are so many ‘Just Culture’ algorithms and flow charts out there, yet all they do is recycle a counterproductive retributive justice paradigm. They always boil down to: who broke the rule, how … Continue Reading ››

The Woolworths Experiment

The most pressing question for many people who are already ‘sold’ on Safety Differently is ‘how do you do it?’ How do you enable and empower people and their organization to develop and implement Safety Differently? This is what micro-experiments help you do. If you’ve seen Safety Differently, the Movie, you will know about ‘The Woolworths Experiment.’ And if you’ve read the book The Safety Anarchist, you will have come across a more … Continue Reading ››

Innovative and critical safety thinking