Tutorial on Safety-II in Practice

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Tutorial on Safety-II in Practice

For the first and only time in South America ....

Safety and safety management are gradually changing from a reactive analysis and
management of error and failures (Safety I) to a proactive focus ‐I) to a proactive focus on the inherent properties on the inherent properties
of safe systems that support everyday work and thereby also prevent accidents from
happening (Safety‐I) to a proactive focus on the inherent propertiesII). In traditional safety management accidents and incidents are
analysed to find their causes and to eliminate these as far as possible. But preventing
failures is not enough. It is also necessary to understand how work goes well and to find
ways to support and augment it. The business case is simple: instead of spending time and
efforts to ensure that something does not happen, the same resources can be spent to
ensure that something happens – namely that work goes well. And when something goes
well, it can obviously not fail at the same time.
The introduction of Safety-II / Resilience Engineering to an organisation must
necessarily take the characteristics of that organisation into account. While the use of offthe-
shelf approaches may seem attractive in the short term, experience shows that it usually
is ineffective in the long term. Knowledge, methods, and training must be tailored to how
an organisation works in order effectively to address the bumps on the road to new
practices. The purpose of this compact tutorial is to give the participants an overview of
what adopting a Safety-II perspective means in practice.
14:00 – 14:15 Introduction – a very brief history of safety and safety thinking.
July 29 2019


Date: 2019-07-29
Hour: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Date: 29 July
Hour: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Individual investment: $500
Corporate investment $460
Event Categories:


  • 14:00 – 14:15 Introduction.
  • A very brief history of safety and safety thinking.
  • 14:15 – 15:00 Theme I: Safety-II at the operational level.
  • Safety is traditionally defined by its absence rather than its presence, by what happens when something goes wrong. But safety should be about what happens when work goes well. Here the distinction between Workas- Imagined (WAI) and Work-as-Done (WAD) is crucial. WAI assumes that if the correct standard procedures are followed, safety will follow as a matter of course. WAD acknowledges that people create safety in their work through essential performance adjustments.
  • 15:00 – 15:45 Theme II: Safety-II and learning (organizational and individual).
  • Safety-I traditionally learns from accidents so that future occurrences can be prevented. In Safety-II, the significant events are those where work goes well and where “nothing” seemed to happen. Yet this “nothing” is the very foundation for sound business and operations. A Safety-II perspective argues that we must learn from both WAI and WAD to ensure that work goes well.
  • 15:45 – 16:15 Coffee break
  • 16:15 – 17:00 Theme III: Safety-II as a management principle.
  • Performance measures are needed to manage how an organisation
  • performs. Performance measures in Safety-I are mainly tallies of
  • unwanted outcomes (accidents, incidents, working days lost, etc.). Safety- II requires meaningful process measures of how well an organisation is doing. The Resilience Assessment Grid (RAG) has been developed as a practical approach to measure and manage the four potentials for resilient performance: to respond, monitor, learn, and anticipate.
  • 17:00 – 17:45 Theme IV: Safety-II at the strategic level.
  • The long-term goal of an organisation should be to develop and
  • maintain the potentials to function under varying conditions so that the number of intended and acceptable outcomes is as high as possible. Safety is never the only priority and sometimes not even the most important one. Strategic planning requires the ability to understand how multiple criteria are related and how an organisation depends on other organisations, nationally and internationally.
  • 17:45 – 18:00 Discussion and conclusions.