How the risk science can help us establish a good safety culture

Terje Aven (Corresponding Author), Marja Ylönen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is about how we can make further sense of the safety culture concept in safety and risk management. Safety culture is here understood as shared beliefs, norms, values, practices and structures, with respect to safety, in an organization. We argue that the risk science (interpreted in its broadest sense to also include safety science) provides important reference points for what these beliefs, norms, values and practices should be. For example, the risk science highlights that complexity needs to be acknowledged and confronted by resilience-based strategies, in addition to the use of risk assessments. A safety culture which is not built on the state of the art of the risk science cannot be considered ‘good’. The main aims of the paper are to draw attention to this issue and present a framework that can help organizations to develop a safety culture that builds on the risk science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1367
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Risk Research
Issue number11
Early online date13 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • risk analysis
  • risk science
  • Safety culture


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