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Image by Dakota Roos

Safety Differently

"People are the solution, not the problem."

Safety Differently can best be described as an international movement of academics and health and safety practitioners led by Sidney Dekker, Erik Hollnagel and Daniel Hummerdal amongst others. They believe there is a better way of achieving high standards of health and safety than through traditional approaches, in diverse sectors from construction to healthcare, oil and gas to retail.

Hollnagel developed the concept of Safety Differently into wholly intelligible Safety I and Safety II approaches:-

Safety I - (the linear approach) is based on a reactive response - measuring failure (accidents, fatalities etc) and trying to prevent repetition by establishing rules and procedures that people are compelled to follow. Focussing on things that go wrong, people are seen as the cause of the problem and are not to be trusted.

Safety II –  (the holistic approach) recognises  the complexity surrounding  the successful delivery of construction ( and other) undertakings. By standing back from the detail, teams can utilise their diverse skills and experience to identify safe solutions in a dynamic, fluid environment where outcomes are unpredictable and rely on professional judgement and a collaborative approach. People are the solution to unique problems and should be trusted to consider all the competing factors and come to a reasoned answer.

Doing Safety Differently

A video that illustrates how an organisation ( in this case an Australian water utilities business) can apply the principles of Safety Differently and transform its approach to managing construction risk in a non-bureaucratic manner.

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