It ain’t safe until we all think it’s safe: Understanding the social construction of safety, and the role of culture in shaping it.
On the surface, safety seems straightforward: the reduction of risk to acceptable levels. Yet, look a little closer and the subjectivity of safety becomes apparent. Who gets to decide what is risky and what is not? What level is ‘acceptable’ when it comes to safety? In this presentation, Dr Tristan Casey will explore the social psychology of safety with a focus on group-level processes like organisational culture. He will briefly chart the evolution and ongoing controversy surrounding the concept of safety, pointing out how dominant societal beliefs have shaped and moulded the nature of safety itself, and influenced both science and practice. In a modern-day world that is filled with competing ideas about what safety is and isn’t, Dr Casey will chart a clear course through this confusion by identifying common threads across competing models, theories, and ideas. Emphasis will be placed on translating academic concepts into practical implications.
About the speaker
Dr Tristan Casey is a Lecturer at Griffith University’s Safety Science Innovation Lab and co-founder of ‘The Culture Effect’—a collaboration between Griffith and QUT that provides commercial research services to industry. Tristan is an experienced and endorsed Organisational Psychologist with extensive experience in work health and safety. He has an interest in teamwork, leadership and organizational culture. Tristan teaches into the Graduate Certificate of Safety Leadership and Bachelor of Social Science at Griffith University. Recently, he completed his second doctorate—this time in safety leadership. Tristan is currently working on research around the management of safety amid COVID19, psychological safety, and safety climate.