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Book Review - Ed Napiorkowski
Ed Napiorkowski

Third Generation Safety: The Missing Piece is an encouraging and stimulating read.

In my very simplistic overview: First-generation safety is strong on compliance, an emphasis on hazard & risk identification, safe places of work. Second-generation safety is about putting safety “front of mind” and encouraging workers to make safe choices. Third Generation Safety is about accepting a high percentage of the actions we perform are actually controlled by our subconscious (us operating in auto-pilot mode) and recognising these can be made safer through:

  • Understanding that our subconscious understands Danger better than Risk

  • An understanding of the Inattention Pattern (5 critical errors and the 4 states which cause them)

  • Our subconscious response can be improved by the robust adoption of safer habits.

A key factor I like in the book is that it acknowledges Third Generation Safety should not be seen as a contradiction or replacement to, but should be used to build upon progress achieved through First-gen and second-gen safety programs. 


And this will be my intent as I review the year passed and refresh our safety strategy for the year ahead at Metcash.

Ed Napiorkowski

General Manager Safety Health and Environment

Metcash (Australia)

Mike Kleier

After more than thirty years in the safety world, this book stimulated and motivated me like no other.

Third Generation Safety: The Missing Piece addresses safety from a personal perspective, as opposed to just a business one.  It has increased my empirical understanding of how our brains work, especially by clarifying the roles played by the conscious and subconscious. Interestingly and much unlike other safety books, it explains human behaviour using the latest neuroscientific research.

The book presents and discusses important information for organisations to consider when deciding their next step in their safety journey. Importantly, it doesn’t discount anything that has been done to date, but rather illustrates how this approach has strengthened safety culture by improving compliance and helping people make safer deliberate choices.


The thinking presented is truly evolving. Like all generational transformations, the opportunity for safety improvement that exists on a personal level transcends all business and industry sectors.


Third Generation Safety is not a destination. It is a natural progression in thinking about safety that will save lives, prevent personal injuries, and serve all business interest.


Mike Kleier

Loss Prevention Manager

ClearPath Mutual

Kerry Smith

Third Generation Safety: The Missing Piece by Cristian Sylvestre is the best safety book I have read. It takes a fascinating look at the evolution of safety; not just where we have been, but also where we should go next.

During the last 40 years we have tried to influence behaviour by making safety more conscious. This works, but only up to a point.

Safety has traditionally stayed away from the one area where behaviour originates in all of us, that’s the realm of the subconscious mind. It was a “black box” up until 10 years ago but not anymore, and this book exposes its critical role in behaviour as it relates to safety.

Neuroscience has uncovered the subconscious mind and how it can be used to help people change behaviour in the long term in a sustainable way.

If you like to learn about the brain and how it can help improve safety, you will find this book eye-opening, thought-provoking and an all-round enjoyable read.

I highly recommend it.

Kerry Smith

Holcim Australia

Safety Manager - Aggregates

Book Review - Kerry Smith
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