Foresight in Safety
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ESReDA Project Group on Foresight in Safety


To avoid occurrence of events (accidents, incidents or crises), prevention is often seen as the main, not to say the only, goal of (industrial or system) safety.

Since the nineties, 3 ESReDA’s working/project groups have obtained results regarding improvement of safety thanks to learning from experience (e.g.accident database, accident investigation; dynamic learning as the follow-up from accident investigation). They especially:

  • Gave overview of accident investigation practices, institutions and regulatory framework in Europe;
  • Gave guidance of principles for how to conduct accident investigations and design event and accident databases;
  • Gave guidance for dimensions to be taken into account for dynamic learning after an event;
  • Providedsome requirements for designers of training in the domain of accident investigation and learning;
  • Gave overview of the main barriers to learning from events.


This work has been documented through different publications (books, reports, guidelines, publications, ESReDA seminar proceedings), somefreely available on the ESReDA website and others that are mainly available at ESReDA editor (DNV library).

Some results of these previous works showed that, before event happened, there were early warning signs (EWS) that could have, to someextent, provided useful information and to some extent been “relevant tools” for preventing eventsoccurrence.



Goals of the Project Group “Foresight in Safety” are:

  • To better define these EWS (e.g. weak signals, precursors, near misses …);
  • To focus on the human and organizational mechanisms for their treatment (e.g. role of whistle-blowers, role of learning, enabling features of organizational culture and concepts such asmindfulness, chronic unease).


To fulfil these goals the Project Group aims will try to identify how to:

  • Enable organizations to deal with unexpected situations, situations not described by rules and procedures;
  • Link them with vulnerabilities reliability and resilience of organizations;
  • Characterize contrast between and change from apathetic to foresighted approach;
  • Apply a systems perspective regarding life cycle analysis (from design to operations andfurther) including the synergy between feedback and feed-forward controls;
  • Address the need for collaboration between technological and sociological disciplines;
  • Articulate them with monitoring of Safety Performance Indicators;
  • Make EWS visible in Data Bases treatment;
  • See interest of use of scenario techniques and simulation underlying dangerous operations;



Work of the Project Group will be made visible through a deliverable, including articles tackling issues listed above and through organisation of the 53rd Seminar on Enhancing Safety: the Challenge of Foresight.



Expected duration of the Project Group is 2 to 3 years. The Project Group was launched in September 2015 after a kick-off meeting in Paris at EDF R&D and IRSN. The PG had two meetings in 2016 at EC Joint Research Centerin Ispra and Petten and will have two meetings in 2017 in Czech Republic and at JRC in Ispra in relation with the ESReDA 53rd Seminar, scheduled 14th and 15th of November.


Participating Organisations

Agenţia de Investigare Feroviară Română (AGIFER), Romania

Club Heuristique pour l’Analyse Organisationnelle de Sécurité (CHAOS), France

Électricité de France Recherche et Développement (EDF-R&D), France

European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), Belgium

Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue, Belgium

Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (TUKES), Finland

Fondation pour une Culture de SécuritéIndustrielle (Foncsi), France

Gestão da Produção de Energia, S.A. (EDP), Portugal

Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), France

Kindunos Ltd., The Netherlands

SRL HSE Consulting, Norway

University of Pardubice (UP), Czech Republic