Holistic Science

By Tabitha Mishra
Last updated: August 6, 2022

What Does Holistic Science Mean?

Holistic science is an approach that treats systems as interconnected wholes rather than as discrete parts.

In the context of process safety, holistic science can be seen as a best practice for safety management that focuses on the human, organizational, and technical aspects of the operation and the way each of those domains relate to the others.

Safeopedia Explains Holistic Science

Holistic science is constrasted with reductionist science, an approach that attempts to eliminate variables, study individual parts of systems, and places less emphasis on webs of interconnection. Reductionism is driven by the idea that breaking things down and studying individuals, parts, or components is a better way to gain understanding of larger systems.

Important Factors in a Holistic Safety Culture

Safety culture is an increasingly popular concept among safety professionals. By its nature, a safety culture is a holistic phenomenon. It is a general attitude toward safety that is roughly shared by the majority of workers in an organization. It is not reducible to specific actions, individual behaviors, or safety procedures.

Developing and incorporating a safety culture in an organization involves many factors, such as:

  • Management's attiude toward safety
  • Training programs and the availability of safety information
  • Written procedures and protocols
  • Transparency about workplace safety and access to safety data

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