Communities of practice approach to safety communication

Joel Iverson, Danielle Farley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Safety is a complex phenomenon that is communicatively enacted through the practices of people engaged in their activities. We explore the relationship between safety and communities of practice (CoPs) by examining past CoP research regarding safety, the use of CoP theory as a communication lens to understand the situatedness of safety from a practice lens. Further, we contrast traditional, rationalist approaches to safety as rule-following, violations, and blame with a more complex, adaptive approach that expands consideration of safety to include success stories. We contend the adaptive framework better elaborates the ongoing, communicative constitution of safety practices. We conclude by applying the adaptive safety definition and CoP theory to the example of the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunicating Risk and Safety
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783110752427
StatePublished - Dec 31 2023


  • Communication
  • Communities of practice
  • Extension disaster education network (EDEN)
  • Knowledge
  • Safety-I
  • Safety-II
  • Social learning
  • Wildland firefighting


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