Episode Summary

On the fiftieth episode of the Safety of Work podcast, we discuss the relationship between safety work and the safety of work. In honor of this landmark number of episodes, we are going to use a paper we published together regarding this topic called, Safety Work Versus the Safety of Work. It seems fitting that the topic gets to the heart of what our show is all about.

Episode Notes

A huge thank you to our listeners who have made this podcast such a success. We started this show with the hope that we could impact the safety of work in our community and beyond. To all who have shared this podcast, you are helping us reach people and potentially  improve safety culture. 


  • The struggle to articulate what it means when we say a safety practice “works”.
  • How we titled our paper.
  • Putting together our own peer review.
  • Risk assessment.
  • The goal in writing their paper.
  • Categorizing safety work.
  • Why certain safety rules and requirements exist.
  • Casting a critical eye on your own organization.
  • Practical takeaways.


“…I could see that people put far more attention in real life on doing assessment and assurance activities, than they spend on insurance activities.”

“Social safety is very much conceptual work. It’s aimed at making safety be a value in the organization and letting the organization believe that it is a champion of safety.”

“We’re fairly sure that lots of the stuff we do in the name of safety…has some impact on the safety of work, but we don’t know which bits…”


Rae, A., & Provan, D. (2019). Safety work versus the safety of work. Safety Work Versus the Safety of Work Safety science111, 119-127