Sooner or later we are all going to have to do Safety Differently because the way we have been doing it is simply no longer working.
Current BBS systems, dependant on sequential levels of control, with our people seen as a problem that needs to be managed, were born out a specific need in the nuclear industry 1970s. This methodology was adopted widely, mutated and is now the norm. It is so pervasive now that to do it differently seems like sacrilege.
But it is time to face the facts. It's just not working anymore. Injury rates plateaued years ago. We just keep asserting that if people cared more or paid more attention, we would be fine. This is an absurdly simplistic rationale, but it remains dominant in the absence of an alternative. We are pouring more resources into a system offering diminished returns. As our eyes turn to guessing what the regulator wants, we have forgotten who we are here to serve. The men and women at the sharp end of the stick. Those most exposed to the energies that cripple and kill.
Already swamped with paper work that has no direct relationship to safety outcomes we just keep piling the policies and procedures on, drowning in flood of paper we make necessary.
All the while the frontline grow increasingly cynical of "safety"
What do we do?
If your frustrated with your current safety outcomes you are not alone. The safety plateau is a near universal across the industry. If you add to this the pressure to remain compliant and ensure “no one goes to jail” for many of our client’s safety had stopped being a fulfilling career some time ago. That is until they found a way to do safety differently.
Safety-II, Safety Differently, the New View. Call it what you will Safety-II is the most effective, most exciting and most necessary evolution of industrial safety ever.
In Traditional Safety (known as Safety-I or S1) work systems are basically safe because all components, and their effects, can be described, offering a predictive effect. A belief is created that all procedures are correct, complete and applicable to all contexts; system developers are capable of anticipating and designing for all contingencies.
Now, for things to go right all we need is for people to people to follow the specified rules and procedures. However, this is not the human condition. Humans are variable by nature. This makes people a liability, a problem to control, or even a threat to safety. To avoid negative events, humans thus have to be controlled.
Safety-II challenges the prevailing attitude towards people and systems. Systems are no longer seen as inherently safe but thwarted by the despicable unreliable workers. Instead, humans are seen as a valuable and necessary resource for the flexibility and resilience of an organisation to succeed. Workers are a source of the ever-necessary solutions required to manage the increasingly complex nature of work. Only the people know how to deal with time pressure, inadequate tools, incomplete system design, and trade-offs, such as being thorough and efficient at the same time. Rules and procedures are no longer regarded as entirely complete and applicable to any work situation. For work to succeed, people have to constantly adapt and adjust their performance to the local circumstances.
check out what some of our clients have to say about our courses
I have found the knowledge and experience of SGA around Safety-II to be very strong and it shows in the delivery around this topicTony McConachie – QUU
Nobody engages with their clients better than Jonathan.David Brock - Managing Director, Hire Results
SGA have been integral to the successful implementation of Safety - II at Queensland Urban Utilities, as well assisting us on our safety journey to High Reliability through the operationalisation of the theory. SGA co - designed the very successful ‘Safe.Simple’ program with QUU and co - facilitated it to over 150 of our operational leaders. Thank you to the SGA team for their passion, enthusiasm and dedication to our success.Kym Bancroft - QUU