Tuesday 25th September – 9:40 – 10:05
The safety management literature describes two distinct modes through which safety is achieved. These can be described as safety through centralized control, or safety through guided adaptability. Safety through centralized control, labeled by Hollnagel as ‘Safety-I’, aims to align and control the organization and its people through the central determination of what is safe. ‘Safety-II’ aims to guide the organization and its people to be able to safely ‘adapt’ to emergent situations and conditions. Safety-II has been presented as a paradigm shift for organizations and theoreticians, but it has created difficulties for safety professional practice in organizations. In this presentation, I will provide new insight into the way that the safety professional role, and work within an organisation, adapts to a solely Safety-I approach, and provide direction for what safety professionals can practically do at the intersection of safety-I and safety-II. I will outline the implications and way forward for safety professionals. How does the role of a safety professional change when safety-I and safety-II need to practically coexist? When do safety professionals re-enforce, and when do they under-mine frontline work-as-done? I will outline specific activities for safety professionals to change, and to add to their role to move towards a Safety-II mode of safety, while balancing safety-I organisational demands. This will move the safety professional further towards what I believe is our fundamental responsibility, and previously proposed by David Woods as a measure of resilience, that is – ‘to create foresight about the changing shape of risk before people are harmed.’
David is a recognised international safety expert. He is the founder of safety consultancy firm Safety 21, and also a part-time lecturer and researcher at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia).
David’s consulting business, Safety 21, supports organisations to transition their safety practices and resources into the 21st century, leveraging the latest thinking, research, and technology. He is presently working with clients in the; transport, oil and gas, construction, logistics, mining, and utilities industries. David will complete his Ph.D. research project in 2018 titled, “What is the role of a Safety Professional? The identity, practice and future of the profession”. He has recently published research on; safety professionals, safety theory and organisational safety practice.
He is the former General Manager Health, Safety and Environment for Origin Energy. Prior to that he was the Head of Quality, Safety and Sustainability for Siemens (Pacific Region), and the Manager of Safety Systems and Accreditation for Queensland Rail. He has held Safety Executive Leadership positions across several high-hazard industries with international operations for the last 20 years, in public, private and government organisations.
David has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology), Masters of Health Science (Risk Management and OHS), and a Masters of Business Administration (Finance). David is a Chartered Generalist OHS Professional Member of the Safety Institute of Australia, and a Member of the International Resilience Engineering Association.