Introduction Responsible Management of Risk and Safety



Responsible management of risk and safety: an introduction







Educational method(s)


Lectures and workshops

Course code





Dr. F.W. Guldenmund a.o.

Contribution of course to objectives


Current perspectives in safety science along with various (risk) analysis methods and techniques

Course description

This course in the minor is an introduction into how risk and safety can be managed responsibly, reliably and mindfully. Safety and risk will be considered at the individual level (psychological perspective), a group or team (cultural perspective), a company (organizational perspective), and an entire economic system (society). Various experts in the field of safety and risk will provide a broad overview of the field of safety and risk as well as some domains in which safety and risk are studied; industry (occupational safety, process safety) and traffic (rail). Students will work on assignments to familiarize themselves with various safety concepts, methods and techniques and to gain further insight into risk and safety.

The principles of a generic Safety Management System (SMS) will provide an overall structure to both lectures and assignments and will guide the student through the three system levels (policy, organizational, and team/ individual level). Insights from psychology, sociology, engineering and management science will give the student a broad overview of the safety science field and its applications.  

Course overview

  • Introduction and basic concepts
  • A system’s approach to safety
  • Safety and humans: culture and behaviour
  • Safety in organizations: safety and risk management
  • Safety and risk in society: individual and group risk, ALARA and risk perception, oversight
  • Safety engineering
  • Workshops on safety and risk methods and techniques (HaZOP, Bowtie, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, Accident investigation)


After taking this course the student will be able to:

  • Understand the concepts of hazard, safety, risk and security
  • Recognise basic principles of risk/uncertainty and safety science in various domains
  • Take account of risk and safety when designing or evaluating a system
  • Understand the (close) connection between humans and safety (or risk)
  • Understand how organizations control and monitor safety and risk
  • Have insight into the role of decision making around risk and safety in society
  • Apply several risk and safety analysis methods


  • Complete three group assignments using methods and techniques presented in the workshops (3 x 20%)
  • Group essay based on safety science literature + group oral exam (40%)


  • General text on safety and/or risk (TBA)
  • Various papers and book chapters, which will be made available through Minor website
  • Slides from lectures