Safety in an Uncertain World
Leah Soroka
Director of S&T Foresight and Science Promotion
Health Canada
What is Safety?
The Evolving Perceptions of Safety Past, Present and Future
PAST
PRESENT
FUTURE
PUBLIC
EXPECTATIONS
• Concept ‘Safety’ emerging:
workplace, cars, immunization
• Protection
• Choice- “ I want to do it my
way”
• Fast response
• Choice
• Flexibility
• Government provides
information, individual chooses to
act or not
• Peers and social media provide
increase access to information
INDUSTRY
• Industry conforms to
government standards
• Workplace risk awareness
•Large corporate entities
• Direct communication with
public
• Generation of Innovative ideas
• Meet consumer demands
• Concerned about cyber
security…safety of information
• Constant application of
innovation
GOVERNMENT
• Policies driven by events
• Prescriptive response;
command and control
• Efficiency based
• More preventative emphasis
• Prescriptive rules to control
for specific situations
• Process focus
• Concept of flexibility
recognize; not implemented
• Regulatory back-ups
• Whole systems approach:
-Collaborative international
standards
• Decision making under
uncertainty
• Convenor; facilitator; information
provider
The changing perception of danger, risk and injury
• Moving from physical to mental work (stress)
– Increased psychosocial issues (work/life, sandwich generation, keeping pace
with changing tech)
– Work place illness from inactivity; consequences of inactivity
– Moving from quantifiable to qualitative
• Moving from validating products to systems approach
– From strict S&T to safety systems
– Cumulative impact of systems
• Moving from regimented to flexible
– Moving from prescription to outcome based
– Moving from risk management (probability) to uncertainty
Changed perceptions of danger, risk and injury change the Concept of Life
3 main domain influences:
• Society and work organization
– Working hours to work best part of the day, 24/7 movement
• Management and technology
– Connected remotely
• Environment
– Cumulative impacts, enabling environment
– Glocalization
Each element influences the other…therefore a systems approach is
required
How to Manage the Transition…
From: Physical to Mental work; Products to Systems; and Regimented to
Flexible
• Decision support systems (ubiquitous sensing, computer capacity,
nanosensors)
– Legacy systems – Watson
– Real-time communication networks- Motorola 4G Networks
• Systems focus
– Danger, risk and injury from multi-sector approach
• Flexibility and Experimentation
– Solutions oriented regulation- guidelines and rules
• S&T assist and support entire system
Thank You
Comments / Questions / Suggestions?
[email protected]
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