Accident analyses have captured critical moments where warnings have been shown to go ignored, and the scale of what could go wrong misjudged. These shortcomings need not be viewed as individual professional failures. Rather, expertise and professionalism can be viewed as the outcome of the organisational and institutional contexts that support or inhibit them. This article argues that building expertise is a necessary and resource-intensive process that requires ongoing and largely informal processes that support professionals and maximise the connections between daily work and potential disasters. These processes and connections are most effective when supported by organisations structurally, through resourcing, through a culture of reporting and when lessons are used to update an organisation’s rules and procedures. These findings are based on semi-structured interviews with 34 engineers in the Australian gas pipeline industry.