1st Edition

Quantum Safety The New Approach to Risk Management for the Complex Workplace

By Paul Stretton Copyright 2022
    180 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    180 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    180 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    This book is the most comprehensive review of health and safety in half a century. Most organisational approaches to health and safety are based on the methodology developed during the 1970s, and despite the workplace changing beyond recognition since that time, these approaches have remained untouched. Quantum Safety will develop a new understanding fit for the modern workplace. Quantum Safety is an approach that is part of the "new view" debate. There have been a number of other new approaches to health and safety in recent years, and while they all have merit and improve understanding to help create the optimal, safe working environment, they have failed to significantly create the change desired. These approaches are often flawed at the philosophical or conceptual level or propose a solution without a pathway to implement the principles in safety-critical environments.

    Quantum Safety: The New Approach to Risk Management for the Complex Workplace is founded on a wholesale critical analysis of the conceptual foundations of health and safety before translating the revised principles into a tangible methodology. Central to the development of Quantum Safety is the application of Complexity Science. The traditional approach to health and safety is considered to be Newtonian – it uses linear models and deterministic analysis. Quantum Safety, due to the full consideration of Complexity Science, introduces multidimensional models and develops analysis based on probabilities. Crucially, this does not render Newtonian methodologies as worthless – in the same manner that Newtonian physics was able to take mankind to the moon, but required the quantum understanding within computers to make it possible – Quantum Safety provides the mechanisms to complete organisations’ safety-based journeys.

    The new mechanisms are fully developed for the reader at both macro and micro levels. How an organisation measures safety and what it values are reset and re-examined. How we investigate adverse events and the consequential actions taken with employees to develop a true Just Culture within a high-performing culture are also completely revised. Essentially, Quantum Safety creates a pathway for understanding health and safety in the complex modern world. To achieve that, new models are introduced to replace the dated, simple tools and a new language is developed to communicate this powerful approach. It will help propel an organisation from considering safety within a concept of industrialised failure avoidance to valuing safety as an integrated aspect of high performance.

    Table of Contents


    List of Figures



    Chapter 1: Newtonian Safety and the New View Refraction

    1.1 Newtonian Safety

      1. New Views

    1.2.1 The first New View: Behavioural Based Safety

        1. Safety II
        2. Safety Differently
        3. Safety III

      1. The New View Landscape
      2. Moving into the Quantum World

    Chapter 2: Let’s talk about complexity

    2.1 Different types of systems

    2.2 Systems, complexity and emergence

      1. Complexity Law & Order

    Chapter 3: The Lilypond. A new conceptual model to understand safety performance in the modern, complex workplace.

      1. The view from above

    3.1.1 Outcome representation

        1. A non-monochrome world

      1. Below the surface of the Lilypond
        1. An intricate ecosystem
        2. Interactions
        3. Hierarchies

    Chapter 4: Understanding The Lilypond Model, organisational safety performance and the performance continuum.

      1. Human Factors Taxonomies

    4.2 The Continuum of Human & Organisational Performance

        1. The Philosophical Realm
        2. The Organisational Realm
        3. The Personal Realm

      1. Using the Continuum of Human & Organisational Performance

    Chapter 5: A different school of Quantum Safety: Moving into the experimental world

      1. The Organisational Realm
      2. The Personal Realm
      3. Creating your Continuum Profile

    Chapter 6: The Human Performance Foxtrot

    6.1 Systems soliloquy

      1. Systems dance partner
      2. Partners on the dancefloor
      3. Dancing the Foxtrot
      4. Understanding the dance
      5. Why we need to embrace our partner

    Chapter 7: Just Culture: Why it isn’t just and how it could be

      1. Leaving blame
      2. Revisiting the idea of justice
      3. Just Culture for the modern, complex workplace
        1. Safety I & Safety II
        2. Learn not blame
        3. Systems thinking
        4. Civility & respect

      4. A new model

    Chapter 8: Learning from everything

      1. An adverse event in healthcare
        1. Adopting a Just Culture
        2. Reason’s Classical Just Culture
        3. Dekker’s Restorative Just Culture
        4. Just Culture in Quantum Safety

      2. An adverse event in rail
        1. Adopting a Just Culture
        2. Reason’s Classical Just Culture
        3. Dekker’s Restorative Just Culture
        4. Just Culture in Quantum Safety

    Chapter 9: Beneath the surface of the Lilypond. Understanding causation in complex systems

      1. Causation within The Lilypond
      2. Understanding different types of human work
      3. When causation and complexity meet
      4. Adaptive behaviours within The Lilypond
      5. Developing Causal and Non-Causal Variation

    Chapter 10: Learning when we don’t dock in the bay

      1. Causal Variation in practice

    10.1.1 The Plan

        1. The Event
        2. The Climate
        3. The Significance
        4. The Action

      1. Investigating using Causal Variation Analysis
      2. The Wakashio grounding

        1. The Plan: Wakashio
        2. The Event: Wakashio
        3. The Climate: Wakashio
        4. The Significance: Wakashio
        5. The Action: Wakashio

    Chapter 11: Continual coaching. Moving from outcome to process.

      1. How learning opportunities are utilised currently
        1. Responding to adverse events
        2. Specific feedback
        3. Post event briefing

      2. Facilitated Learning & Improvement Conversations
        1. Adaptations
        2. Interactions
        3. Decisions

    Chapter 12: The way ahead: Developing a roadmap with Quantum Safety

      1. Institutions & doctrines
      2. Cats & Watermelons
      3. Safety Management System: The Babushka edit
      4. Rituals and routines
      5. The Quantum Safety Roadmap


    Paul Stretton is a safety scientist based in Edinburgh, UK. Throughout his career, high performance has been a consistent priority, working within education, sports, safety consultant in the construction industry, public speaking champion and coach, as well as supporting leadership and patient safety change within the NHS. More recently, his work has focused on developing safety leadership and culture change processes and he is the pioneer of an approach called Quantum Safety, where high performance, new views of safety, quality improvement methodologies and Complexity Science combine to deliver meaningful and lasting change to performance in the modern workplace. This has been validated by his authorship of work published in international peer reviewed academic literature and has been the subject of widely attended online webinars. Quantum Safety is endorsed by world-renowned safety experts and is being utilized within the NHS currently. Paul's website is: https://www.quantum-safety.com/