Safety-I and safety-II: opportunities for an integrated approach in the construction industry


  • Guillermina Andrea Peñaloza Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • Kinga Wasilkiewicz Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Tarcisio Abreu Saurin Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • Ivonne Andrade Herrera SINTEF, Norway
  • Carlos Torres Formoso Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil



Safety-I, Safety-II, construction industry


Construction projects are known for their complexity characteristics, such as a large number of stakeholders, uncertainty, and a dynamic work environment. These characteristics imply that different approaches for safety management can be useful under different circumstances. For example, low severity occupational accidents are fairly common in most construction sites, and therefore these events offer useful learning opportunities. In turn, resilience across managerial and operational levels is probably ubiquitous in construction sites, regardless of being taken for granted and neglected as a source of learning. Therefore, there is an opportunity for the joint use of how Safety-I and Safety-II in construction, giving rise to more effective safety management. This paper explores how Safety-I and Safety-II can be jointly adopted in construction. The discussion is based on two case studies, one from Brazil and another from Norway, in which two safety practices – safety planning and event reporting - were analysed from the perspectives of Safety-I and Safety-II. We conclude that these two perspectives can be integrated into established practices allowing organisation to learn from accidents, incidents as well as from everyday operations.


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