Over the last two decades, safety improvements in many industries have flatlined despite a vast expansion of OHS compliance and bureaucracy. The cost of compliance, paperwork and bureaucratic accountability demands can be mind-boggling. In advanced economies this can be up to 10% of GDP, with every person working some 8 weeks per year just to be compliant. This is non-productive time. It has also stopped safety from progressing.
‘Safety Differently,’ an approach now embraced by multiple Tier 1 organizations globally, is about halting or pushing back on the ever-expanding bureaucratization and compliance of work and instead rediscovering the dignity of workmanship. It is and about seeing 'accountability' as an ethical responsibility to being open to hearing accounts of how work actually gets done, and to learn how to genuinely enhance the conditions for success.
Sidney Dekker earned his PhD from Ohio State University and is currently a professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, where he runs the Safety Science Innovation Lab. He is also Chief Scientist at Art of Work. Previously, he was professor of human factors and system safety at Lund University in Sweden.
After becoming professor, he qualified on the Boeing 737, and worked part-time as an airline pilot out of Copenhagen. His debut documentary Safety Differently was released in 2017, and his documentary Just Culture in 2018. He is best-selling author of, most recently: The Safety Anarchist (2018); The End of Heaven (2017); Just Culture (2016); Safety Differently (2015); The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’ (2014); Second Victim (2013); Drift into Failure (2012); and Patient Safety (2011).