New Ways to Understand and Create Safety

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In this presentation, Safety I; the traditional view of safety and Safety II (Resilience) - the new view will be explored and contrasted.  The presentation will juxtapose definitions of safety, safety management principles, accident causation concepts, and notions on error and performance variability from each perspective.  Advantages and disadvantages of each perspective emerge highlighting a path forward for combining the two ways of thinking.  The four basic abilities of a resilient organization are described and practical suggestions are given for developing a Safety II approach and advancing workplace safety. 

Presenter: Heather Kahle 

Heather Kahle is a Human Factors Specialist in the Fatal & Serious Investigations Division at WorkSafeBC where she currently serves as a subject matter expert to the Investigations Dept, Prevention Division and employers across BC.  Before 2006, still at WSBC, Heather worked with Prevention officers and employers to prevent musculoskeletal injuries and implement ergonomics initiatives.  Between 1989 and joining WorkSafeBC in 1994, Heather worked as an Ergonomist at Inco Metals in Sudbury, ON, the Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers in Hamilton, Northern Telecom in Calgary, AB, and BC Hydro in Burnaby, BC.  As part of Human Factors team at WorkSafeBC, Heather speaks to the Human Factors Incident Investigation Methodology, Resilience, and Human Performance.  Heather has her BSc. in Kinesiology and Systems Design, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON and MSc. in Human Factors and System Safety, Lund University, Sweden.  In 2013, Jenny Colman and Heather published a paper in the Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments, “Is Performance Variability Necessary? A Qualitative Study on Cognitive Resilience in Forestry Work”.  In this paper, the traditional view of safety and the resilience/Safety II perspective are contrasted.  Heather has immense passion for proactively advancing safety and preventing incidents with the human factors and system safety approach.  This is the most meaningful work she has ever had the opportunity to live and teach.