(c) Erik Hollnagel, 2021

4th International Workshop on Safety-II in Practice

towards a unified approach to all operations

September 21-23, 2021 - via Zoom

We are pleased to announce the fourth International Workshop based on the theme of Safety-II in Practise. Due to the covid-19 pandemic and the considerable uncertainty about whether travel and conference activities will have resumed by the fall, the workshop will – regrettably – be virtual. The Workshop is organised by FRAMsynt.

Aim of the workshop

The intention of Safety-II was from the start to widen the focus of safety management from events with adverse outcomes to everything that goes on in an organisation. This requires an extension to all operations rather than just accidents and failures, an extension from a single issue to multiple issues – from safety to system performance broadly, and finally an extension in time from looking at single events to include developments in the short, the medium, and the long term.

The need to move in this direction resonates with the experiences that have been shared at the previous workshops. Although safety is important, it can clearly not be understood or managed separately from whatever else goes on. So even though “Safety-II” still is part of the title of the workshop, the scope is broader than that.

The aim of the workshop is to share experiences from various industries and practices in dealing with all operations, and to advance our understanding of how this best can be done. The workshop will give the participants an opportunity to present and discuss the lessons learned – good as well as bad, practical as well as methodological. The workshop will be a unique opportunity for practitioners and researchers to interact with like-minded colleagues and to share experiences as well as ideas for further developments.

Structure of the workshop

The overall guiding principle for the workshop is “extended discussions blended with short presentations”.

Since the participants may be in different time zones the workshop will be held over three days with one 3-hour session each day. Each session will have a dedicated focus as follows:

  • Session 1 (micro level): Making sense of all operations.

  • Session-2 (meso level): Learning from all operations.

  • Session 3 (macro level): Managing all operations – synesis.

Each session will consist of a number of submitted presentations (cf., below) with discussions, followed by a topical workshop. The topical workshops will highlight an important issue or problem related to the session theme and actively involve the participants via group work, chats, discussions, etc.


The workshop is open to everyone who are interested in how to deal with all operations from a unified perspective rather than in terms of the traditional separate issues (safety, quality, production, etc.). It will explore multiple purposes ranging from investigations, performance analyses, organisational management and development, individual and organisational learning, and resilience across multiple domains. The workshop will provide a unique opportunity to:

  • Discuss and exchange experiences on how a unified perspective on all operations can be used to analyse and manage complex socio-technical systems.

  • Receive feedback on and support for your own projects in this direction.

  • Learn about the latest developments and application areas.

  • Develop a perspective on the long-term potential of a unified perspective.

Discussion topics, presentations and papers

You can contribute actively to the workshop by submitting proposals for:

  • Themes or issues for topical workshop (preferably with a presentation or introduction, but open suggestions for themes are also welcome).

  • Presentations of ongoing or already completed work in industry and/or academia.

  • Ideas that you would like to get a second opinion on.

  • Questions or issues that you have been wondering about and would like to hear more about.

  • The relevance of a unified perspective on all operations for individual and organisational learning.

  • Strategic management from a unified perspective: how to introduce changes to routines and daily practice.

For each type of proposal, please provide a short abstract (about 100 – 200 words, but even less if need be) which describes what you would like to highlight and how you want to be involved. All proposals will be reviewed and comments to the submitters will be provided.

Please submit your proposed contribution to: WRKSHP2021@safetysynthesis.com