The Work-Organization link

The topic of NeTWork’s 1996 workshop was The Work-Organization link. The workshop was held in Bad Homburg, Germany.

Context of the workshop

Not only is technology going through its revolutions faster, but the institutions and organizations which exploit that technology are also in the process of almost constant reshaping. This accelerating change is a double-edged sword for safety. On the one hand, it offers the opportunity for improvement, but on the other it threatens the tried and trusted measures which have produced high safety levels in the past.

Trial and error as a learning method is not acceptable in high risk technologies. We must not only get things right first time, but adapt the management of safety to the dynamic of constant change. Workshop participants explored this dilemma by studying:

  • how organizations manage safety

  • what is crucial for a good safety management system

  • how to harness change directly to safety improvement

  • how to adapt safety management systems to change imposed from the outside.

Workshop organizers

  • Michael Baram, Boston University Law School

  • Andrew R. Hale, TU Delft


The papers presented during the 1996 workshop, and the ensuing discussion, led to the publication of a book titled Safety Management — The Challenge of Change.

Hale, A. R., & Baram, M. (Eds), 1998. Safety Management — The Challenge of Change. Amsterdam: Elsevier. ISBN: 978-0080430751.