Health and Safety CONFERENCE

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Safety Differently – What is it, and Will it Work in Mining?

Christian Young
Managing Director, Impress Solutions Pty Ltd

Safety Differently describes a movement within the safety community to change the perspective of organisations in three key areas – the definition of safety, the role of people, and the focus of the organisation.

Traditional or “normal” safety management tends to view these three areas in this way:

  • Safety is defined as an absence of negatives (e.g., accidents, unacceptable risk, unsafe acts, etc.)
  • People are a problem that must be controlled
  • The organisation focuses on safety as a bureaucratic accountability to those above us hierarchically

By contrast, Safety Differently views these three key areas this way:

  • Safety is defined by the presence of positives, such as a capacity to be successful in varying conditions
  • People are the solution
  • The organisation focuses on safety as an ethical responsibility to those who do the organisation’s messy, risky work

Safety Differently is an approach used by organisations who wish to move beyond traditional safety management.

Through the lens of Safety Differently organisations can evaluate their existing strategies and look for opportunities to alter course. This presentation will further discuss how Safety Differently can be applied within the mining context.