What is meant by 'Safety II' or 'Safety Differently'?

A 'New View' of Safety

Safety II thinking gives us a new set of guiding principles, coming from fields like cognitive psychology, systems thinking, human factors, and complexity theory.


Based on the works of Sidney Dekker, Erik Hollnagel, Jens Rassmusen, David Woods, and many others.


Safety II or Safety Differently principles:

  • The goal of Safety II is to ensure as many things as possible go right

  • Safety is seen in the presence of positive events

  • Safety is measured in capabilities, competencies, and buffers using leading indicators

  • Safety is also achieved through appreciative enquiry: observing and learning from what goes right during normal work

  • People are seen as a solution to harness, creating a new kind of 'common sense'

  • Safety is an ethical responsibility downwards

  • Accident causation models are non-linear and emergent

  • Safety is 'proactive and transformational'; we study normal work and facilitate ways to improve success

  • 'Just Cultures' of discipline balance learning with punishment


And there's this:

'What Safety II Isn't' by Steven Shorrock at SafetyDifferently.com