The New View is fundamentally the application of systems thinking to workplace health and safety. It considers safety an emergent property of the system (see graphic 1). So what does that jargon mean? It means that instead of focusing on an individual condition, action, procedure, near miss or incident, the organization steps back and takes a broader view, by considering the many factors that interact to produce the incident or near miss.
Front-line workers are always trying to adapt work and balance a number of often conflicting goals such as productivity, efficiency, quality, and safety in an ever-changing workplace frequently burdened by resource constraints. They inherit the output of many organizational processes. Some of the processes are excellent while others may be deficient for a variety of reasons. Front-line workers generally make the system work despite process shortcomings. This adaptive behavior and unique expertise is an essential resource for safety as well for the success of the organization.