In complex systems, people interact with technology to manage uncertainty and ensure reliability. The Centre for Safety supports national and organisational safety strategies by developing an integrated approach to safety in complex and uncertain environments.

Our approach integrates three perspectives about the interaction of human and technical processes to create overall safety capability. The figure below shows that safety capability is derived from three types of capital: organisational capital, social capital, and human capital.

In essence, the capitals are the resources that combine to produce safety capability. The three capitals encompass the various skills, communication processes, and organisational systems that combine to create highly reliable operations. 

The idea of three capitals is powerful because it brings together elements of high reliability that are important yet often disconnected and difficult to articulate. 

This framework means that the Centre for Safety approaches research questions and practical problems with an overarching view that integrates diverse disciplines and professions.

Organisational Capital
Resources derived from institutional knowledge, operating procedures and systems, organisational routines.

Social Capital 
Resources derived from social interaction, organisational culture, and communication networks.

Human Capital 
Resources derived from the knowledge, skills and experience of individuals.

Published paper on Safety Capability: