Tag Archives: redefining

Darwinian Safety

file0001003212816There is something absolute about accidents. The loss, the destruction, and the irreversibility of it all – it’s clearly not what was intended. This unwanted character of accidents allows, affords, or even encourages a binary understanding of safety. Either things are safe, or they are not. So when bad things happen, it makes sense to pull back, to constrain, to establish tighter control over what has failed. As if we only stay away from danger, if we use … Continue Reading ››

Safety culture: Facts, fiction and faith

We know that safety cultures are not just created at the sharp end. For safety culture, we need to look deeper inside an organization—at its procedures, work practices, design, supervision, management, governance. This has been a very empowering idea, shifting our focus onto the context surrounding people's work. But it has also been accompanied by burgeoning safety bureaucracies. In pursuit of safety culture, we now expect organizations to deploy vast systems—loss prevention systems, safety management … Continue Reading ››

From constraints to facilitation

 “Safety is boring. And it does my head in!” From the very start I could tell that my meeting with a top level manager of an Australian hospital was going to be interesting. “Don’t get me wrong! We have serious safety issues here. We occasionally do wrong side surgery. We chop off the wrong leg and we give out the wrong medicine. We have people falling out of bed at night, we mix up patients, there are depressed … Continue Reading ››

Instead of top down safety

Roads once belonged to pedestrians. The space was used for markets, cattle, horse wagons, dancing, or meetings. Perhaps modern days’ block parties, with their restricted traffic, give a taste of what roads once were in terms of a place for people. Then came the cars. At first they were slow, but nevertheless exciting and they quickly became fashionable. However, it was not long before the first collisions occurred between cars and pedestrians. The need for road safety … Continue Reading ››