Safety Culture as a Way of Responsive Regulation: Proposal for a Nuclear Safety Culture Oversight Model

Benoît Bernard


Despite a substantial body of literature dealing with the relation between safety culture and safety operations, little is a said concerning the safety culture oversight by a regulatory body. With a focus on a safety culture observations process, this paper takes up the challenge of finding a way to link safety culture and safety regulation. The lack of a common theoretical and methodological framework concerning safety culture constitutes certainly a barrier to the development of assessment tools. The aim of this article is to propose a model for a safety culture oversight. From a regulatory body perspective, we suggest that three fundamental cultural mechanisms must be addressed: the level of consensus about safety values; the degree of consistency between underlying assumptions of social groups; and the fitness of frames of reference regarding the specific risks of an installation.


nuclear safety culture, safety culture assessment, regu-latory body oversight, responsive regulation


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