Safety is the absence of incidents and accidents – seems simple enough. Or is it?

The traditional view of safety as avoidance of loss which is reflected in current approaches to safety and risk management has been subject to several recent searching critiques offering a radically different perspective on safety in a variety of industries and settings.

The structure and function of accident investigation is now open to question as is the role of ‘human error’ in understanding adverse events. Will the new ‘revisionist’ views of safety replace the old view or come to be seen as complementary to the traditional view?

This website has grown out of a postgraduate course at the University of Otago on ‘Safety Science and Application’ (PSYC432) and contains documents, links and other potentially useful information for those seeking to better understand safety in the twenty-first century. Comments, suggestions and additions are most welcome.