Episode Summary

On today’s episode we discuss whether increasing uncertainty can improve safety.

Episode Notes

Tune in to hear us talk about this topic in the context of the paper we chose to reference this week.


  • Our safety practices are always about reducing uncertainty.
  • The paper we’ve chosen to use for today’s discussion is Promoting Safety by Increasing Uncertainty.
  • The paper uses major accidents to frame its arguments.
  • Differences of opinion is a type of uncertainty.
  • Increasing uncertainty in practice.
  • Feeling uncomfortable with increasing uncertainty.
  • Encouraging people to speak out.


“If you don’t understand the question or you don’t understand the problem well enough, then you’ve got very little chance of coming up with a good solution.”

“We need to take action that deliberately encourages introduction of contradictory information…breaking consensus, not forming consensus.”

“The responsibility is on the organization to provide the right psychological environment for people to speak up.”


Grote, G. (2015). Promoting safety by increasing uncertainty–Implications for risk management. Safety science, 71, 71-79.