Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents

Routledge
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Major accidents are rare events due to the many barriers, safeguards and defences developed by modern technologies. But they continue to happen with saddening regularity and their human and financial consequences are all too often unacceptably catastrophic. One of the greatest challenges we face is to develop more effective ways of both understanding and limiting their occurrence. This lucid book presents a set of common principles to further our knowledge of the causes of major accidents in a wide variety of high-technology systems. It also describes tools and techniques for managing the risks of such organizational accidents that go beyond those currently available to system managers and safety professionals. James Reason deals comprehensively with the prevention of major accidents arising from human and organizational causes. He argues that the same general principles and management techniques are appropriate for many different domains. These include banks and insurance companies just as much as nuclear power plants, oil exploration and production companies, chemical process installations and air, sea and rail transport. Its unique combination of principles and practicalities make this seminal book essential reading for all whose daily business is to manage, audit and regulate hazardous technologies of all kinds. It is relevant to those concerned with understanding and controlling human and organizational factors and will also interest academic readers and those working in industrial and government agencies.
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About the author

James Reason is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Manchester, England. He is consultant to numerous organizations throughout the world, sought after as a keynote speaker at international conferences and author of several renowned books including Human Error (CUP, 1990).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Jan 29, 2016
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781134855421
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Language
English
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Genres
Technology & Engineering / Civil / Transportation
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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When faced with a human error problem, you may be tempted to ask 'Why didn't they watch out better? How could they not have noticed?'. You think you can solve your human error problem by telling people to be more careful, by reprimanding the miscreants, by issuing a new rule or procedure. These are all expressions of 'The Bad Apple Theory', where you believe your system is basically safe if it were not for those few unreliable people in it. This old view of human error is increasingly outdated and will lead you nowhere. The new view, in contrast, understands that a human error problem is actually an organizational problem. Finding a 'human error' by any other name, or by any other human, is only the beginning of your journey, not a convenient conclusion. The new view recognizes that systems are inherent trade-offs between safety and other pressures (for example: production). People need to create safety through practice, at all levels of an organization. Breaking new ground beyond its successful predecessor, The Field Guide to Understanding Human Error guides you through the traps and misconceptions of the old view. It explains how to avoid the hindsight bias, to zoom out from the people closest in time and place to the mishap, and resist the temptation of counterfactual reasoning and judgmental language. But it also helps you look forward. It suggests how to apply the new view in building your safety department, handling questions about accountability, and constructing meaningful countermeasures. It even helps you in getting your organization to adopt the new view and improve its learning from failure. So if you are faced by a human error problem, abandon the fallacy of a quick fix. Read this book.
The authors believe that a systematic organizational approach to aviation safety must replace the piecemeal approaches largely favoured in the past, but this change needs to be preceded by information to explain why a new approach is necessary. Accident records show a flattening of the safety curve since the early Seventies: instead of new kinds of accident, similar safety deficiencies have become recurrent features in accident reports. This suggests the need to review traditional accident prevention strategies, focused almost exclusively on the action or inaction’s of front-line operational personnel. The organizational model proposed by the authors is one alternative means to pursue safety and prevention strategies in contemporary aviation; it is also applicable to other production systems. The model argues for a broadened approach, which considers the influence of all organizations (the blunt end ) involved in aviation operations, in addition to individual human performance (the sharp end ). If the concepts of systems safety and organizational accidents are to be advanced, aviation management at all levels must be aware of them. This book is intended to provide a bridge from the academic knowledge gained from research, to the needs of practitioners in aviation. It comprises six chapters: the fundamentals, background and justification for an organizational accident causation model to the flight deck, maintenance and air traffic control environments. The last chapter suggest different ways to apply the model as a prevention tool which furthermore enhances organizational effectiveness. The value of the organizational framework pioneered by Professor Reason in analyzing safety in high-technology production systems is felt by his co-authors to have an enduring role to play, both now and in coming decades. Applied now in this book, it has been adopted by ICAO, IFATCA, IMO, the US National Transportation Safety Board, the Transportation Safety B
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