Episode Summary

Today, we conclude our three-part series on Safety I and Safety II.

Episode Notes

We dive into the final chapters of the book and analyze Hollnagel’s intent and offer our commentary on his ideas. Though our ideas don’t necessarily jibe with all of Hollnagel’s, we appreciate our time dissecting this seminal book. 

Tune in to hear our thoughts on the final four chapters. Make sure to let us know if you also read the book and your thoughts on the content.

We hope you enjoyed our little end-of-year deep-dive. Have a happy and healthy New Year!


  • A recap of the chapters we’ve covered thus far.
  • Chapter 6
  • Dealing with complexity,
  • The role of resilience.
  • Chapter 7
  • Correct and incorrect functions.
  • Determining the cause of accidents in complex systems.
  • The faulty definition of Safety II.
  • The purpose of Safety II.
  • Chapter 8
  • Recognizing, monitoring, and controlling performance variability. 
  • Why Hollnagel criticizes Safety I.
  • Methods and techniques.
  • Chapter 9
  • Hollnagel’s predictions about the creation of Safety III.
  • Practical takeaways from the book.


“So you think of Safety I just as it protects against lots of specific things, but it doesn’t protect against generic things that we haven’t specifically protected against.”

“The fact is…we can make some fairly reliable and valid conclusions about what happened leading up to something going wrong.”

“I think all theorists we should take seriously and not literally.”


Safety I and Safety II: The Past and Future of Safety Management