Episode Summary

On today’s episode we are going to discuss the relationship between trust and safety.

Episode Notes


  • The relationship between safety and trust is harder to define than one would expect.
  • We use the works of one doctor to help us understand this topic.
  • Trust doesn’t necessarily lead to safer work environments.
  • However, too much distrust can lead to an unhealthy workplace.
  • One of the papers is about how to create trust.


“…It’s not as simple as ‘trust is a good thing’ and ‘distrust is a bad thing’…when we trust people too much, we take their word for things, even when we shouldn’t.”

“The happy medium…you get good communication and you get good checking behavior.

“We actually can’t really make predictions about what these findings mean in real-world organizational settings, once all of those variables become reintroduced.”


Conchie, S. M., & Burns, C. (2008). Trust and risk communication in high‐risk organizations: A test of principles from social risk research. Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 28(1), 141-149.


Conchie, S. M., & Donald, I. J. (2008). The functions and development of safety-specific trust and distrust. Safety Science, 46(1), 92-103.