Unpacking Safety-II in action: weak signals of potential error in patient handling tasks

As a result of a new definition of safety, whereby the focus on the ability to succeed under varying conditions is emphasised, new opportunities for assessing and improving safety are being developed. This study investigated both Safety-I and Safety-II elements using a focus group method with two expert groups in patient handling. The Safety-I and Safety-II elements investigated included potential errors, weak signals and learning opportunities arising from these situations. The weak signals that were identified were classified as originating from either an external or internal source. Potential learning opportunities to improve signal recognition were identified.