What Safety Can Learn from Neuroscience

What Safety Can Learn from Neuroscience

11 May 2017, 2:25 PM - 3:05 PM

Safety First Conference Theatre

English (Australia)

Most organisations think of safety in terms of the physical environment of the workplace or the employee’s knowledge and understanding of hazards. Although these ways of thinking about safety certainly have merit, and are part of the overall solution, they are not enough to prevent many incidents, even serious ones. So, what is missing? Neuroscience estimates that >90% of what we do is subconscious, i.e, the majority of our actions, even whilst undertaking seemingly “high risk” tasks are done in autopilot. - We are conscious that we are doing a task, but not necessarily making active decisions about each step. This is not about psychology; it is about the biology that resulted from human evolution. The way our brain functions as we interact with the world can result in unintentional mistakes which can cause incidents. The solution is not just about explaining how our brain works; it is about learning to engage with people’s subconscious mind in a way that empowers them to become habitually safer. After all, we are creatures of habit. Drawing on the latest neuroscientific research, Cristian demonstrates the large role played by inattention and distraction in incidents. If people can understand (without blame or fault) how unintentional errors are made, and how these can be minimised, they will comply with our current safety systems more, make “safer” choices and contribute to a positive safety culture. This all helps to improve safety performance significantly, after all, personal safety is more than just following the rules.


  • Christopher Lequaietermaine





Wed 9 May Exhibition 10am - 6pm
Thur 10 May Exhibition 10am - 6pm
Fri 11 May Exhibition 10am - 6pm

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