Category Archives: Uncategorized

moving on

Some of you may have heard this already from one source or another, but I am stepping away from running the SafetyDifferently.com site. I love this site, especially for the role it played in shaping my own thinking. However, it is because of this love that I know I need to pass the reigns over to someone else who has the time and motivation to devote the energy to making … Continue Reading ››

Can believing in SMS make us more Vulnerable?

When the FAA embraced Safety Management System (SMS), we all joined in with an understanding of shared responsibility, we did not consider social drivers that would ultimately result in drift. I was one of the eager adopters and brought SMS to the US Forest Service aviation community. We attended classes given by the FAA and quickly included SMS in our arsenal of defenses. We even required contract aviation companies to … Continue Reading ››

Complicated & Complex Systems in Safety Management

When General Stanley McChrystal took over the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command[1] (JSOC) in Iraq during the mid-2000s, he inherited an organisation struggling to overcome the Al Qaeda insurgency plaguing the country. After a few weeks in the job, he realised his new team had been viewing their enemy through the wrong lens, and therefore had been using the wrong strategies to defeat them. Ultimately, this insight led him to … Continue Reading ››

A Choice to Punish or To Learn from Parkland

After the Parkland, Fl., school shooting February 14, 2018 the nation’s anger focused for a while on then-school resource officer Scot Peterson, who appeared to freeze outside the school while the gunman was firing. That focus has returned with a vengeance!

Peterson said in a TV interview six months later "It's easy to sit there for people to go, 'Oh, he should have known that that person was … Continue Reading ››

Health and Safety II?

At a recent conference I attended, there was a paper describing an attempt to “manage” the risks involved in rock climbing. This highlighted the desire of climbers to push the boundaries to demonstrate mastery over evermore seemingly “unsafe” situations. (Solo unaided, unsupported climbs reliant only on the courage, skill and wit of the individual climber?). This was a somewhat paradoxical example of a person deliberately putting themselves “at risk” and … Continue Reading ››

Incident investigation: Learning vs Blaming

I would like to tell a story. The story is not in itself unique and I suppose many persons have seen or experienced similar. There are two ways to tell this story with two very different outcomes for both the organisation and individuals involved.

Let me set the scene, a difficult project is under pressure to produce, machinery is not in one hundred percent working order, operatives … Continue Reading ››

When does a reduction in injury numbers become statistically significant?

By Dr. Marloes Nitert and Dr. Sidney Dekker

Those who’ve been around safety (and particularly safety differently) long enough, know that LTI (Lost Time Injuries) is a lousy safety measure. LTI, after all, was once instituted as a productivity measure, not a safety measure. But LTI is actually quite a silly measure too. This blog shows just how silly it gets, and how foolish (or statistically meaningless) any claims about LTI … Continue Reading ››