Welcome to the Centre for Safety's first quarterly email!
At the heart of the Centre for Safety (C4S) is the goal of supporting safety innovation by creating opportunities for collaboration between research and industry practice.
This new quarterly email will provide you with facts, figures, and research findings that will stimulate thought and action on a variety of safety related topics and issues.
Throughout the year we will also use this email to keep you informed and up to date with the Centre for Safety's research activities, and opportunities for collaborations.
Research findings from a recent international survey on safety practices, risks, and beliefs in 8 developing countries revealed that stark differences can exist between the perceived importance of safety, and actual safety.
While management safety values and organisational safety vision were rated the highest, practical aspects of safety such as the physical safety, rewards systems for safety or even safety training were rated the lowest. This disconnect indicates the importance of embedding a safety vision into an organisation.
It is not enough to have top management and leaders articulate a safety vision and communicate the importance of safety, employees must also receive practical support to act safely. Unless employees are given adequate safety equipment, and systematic procedures/training to work safely, safety values and vision are likely to lose their power to influence actual safety.
Leaders in high risk industries often face the difficult challenge of remaining mindful of risks, even though the chance of a major accident occurring is rare. Many managers may ask, how do you not ‘forget to be afraid’?
Chronic unease can play a role in supporting (particularly senior) managers to have a positive influence on safety. Being chronically unease means being sensitive to the risks and accidents that could happen, as well as being relentless in asking whether the right preventative controls are in place. It is a healthy scepticism about what you see and do.
Prior to joining the Centre for Safety at The University of Western Australia, Dr. Laura Fruhen worked with Professor Rhona Flin at the University of Aberdeen on the topic of chronic unease. Their extensive project, involving interviews with senior managers from the oil and gas industry, identified not only what makes certain senior managers more uneasy than others, but also the ways in which senior managers can channel their unease into effective risk management.