chapter  16
19 Pages

Optimum System Safety and Optimum System Resilience: Agonistic or Antagonistic Concepts?

ByRené Amalberti

The analysis of the various human activities at work and their safety-related policies lead to consider four classes of system resiliencies. A first category of human activities is based on the constant search and expression of maximum performance. A second category of human activities corresponds to a type of resilience based on the apparent contradiction between global governance and local anarchy. The third category of human activities corresponds to public services and large low risk public industries. The fourth and last category of systems corresponds to those for which the risk of multiple fatalities is so high that even single accidents are unacceptable. If one accident occurs to one operator it may mean the end of business for all operators. This is the case of the energy industry, and public transportation. Socio-technical systems, as well as humans, have a limited life span.