Sociotechnical safety assessment within three risk regulation regimes: SAF€RA STARS Final report

Marja Ylönen, Ole Andreas Engen, Jean-Christophe Le Coze, Jouko Heikkilä, Ruth Skotnes, Kenneth Pettersen, Claudia Morsut

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    This final report summarises the main results of the research project on Sociotechnical Safety Assessment within three regulatory regimes (SAFERA STARS). The objectives of the project were the following: 1) Explore what the shift towards a sociotechnical approach entails from a scientific viewpoint and how it affects safety management, 2) Compare practices in risk regulatory regimes - Norwegian oil and gas, hazardous use of chemicals in Finland and France - with sociotechnical approaches, 3) Clarify the regulation (limits and possibilities) in ensuring sociotechnical safety 4) Develop an evidence-based guide on how to develop regulatory practices towards taking better into account the sociotechnical safety. It's a question of pioneer study in the sense that there is no comparison between these regimes made before, and not in terms of sociotechnical safety. Findings show strengths and vulnerabilities of all three regimes. Norway appears to be the most advanced with regard to sociotechnical aspects. The strength of Norwegian regime is large stakeholder involvement and adopted capability building among the industry and the regulatory body. However, vulnerabilities in the Norwegian regime relate to political and economic issues, which can easily weaken the existing trust between the parties and undermine the climate of cooperation. The strength of the Finnish regime is in its emphasis on proactively preventive communication, meaning providing information, guidelines and training to the operators. However, the heterogeneity and large number of supervised plants and the small number of inspectors is a clear challenge with regard to the development of sociotechnical safety assessment. The strength of the French regime is in the development of a dialogue-based approach with civil society, operators and other stakeholders. Weak points are the command and control type of regulation and the fact that inspectors need to change their position every second or third year. Development of sociotechnical safety assessment would require a broad discussion about the role of regulation in society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages60
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-8527-4
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-8528-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Technology


    • sociotechnical
    • safety
    • risk regulation regime
    • compliance


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