Tag Archives: safety-I

What Human Factors isn’t: 4. A Cause of Accidents

‘Human Factors’ (or Ergonomics) is often presented as something that it’s not, or as something that is only a small part of the whole. Rather than just explain what Human Factors is, in this sporadic series of short posts I … Continue reading

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The Real Focus of Safety-II

Safety-II has become a talking point. It is discussed not only among safety professionals, but – perhaps more importantly – among front line practitioners, managers, board members and regulators in a wide array of industries. Its practical and inclusive focus … Continue reading

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Work and how to survive it: Lesson 2. Understand variation inside your organisation

In this sporadic series of posts, I share a few insights, as they might apply to work and organisations, from ‘Life and How To Survive It’ and ‘Families and How to Survive Them’, by psychotherapist (late) Robin Skynner and comedian John Cleese. Continue reading

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Work and how to survive it: Lesson 1. Understand ‘how work goes’

In this sporadic series of posts, Icshare a few insights, as they might apply to work and organisations, from ‘Life and How To Survive It’ and ‘Families and How to Survive Them’, by psychotherapist (late) Robin Skynner and comedian John Cleese. Continue reading

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The Varieties of Human Work

The analysis of work cannot be limited to work as prescribed in procedures etc (le travail prescrit), nor to the observation of work actually done (le travail réalisé). Similarly, it cannot be limited to work as we imagine it, nor work as people talk about it. Only by considering all four of these varieties of human work can we hope to understand what’s going on. Continue reading

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Just culture: Who are we really afraid of?

When we think about just culture, we usually think about accidents and incidents, associated ‘honest mistakes’ and ‘negligence’ (by whatever name), as well as official responses to these, at company and judicial level. The notion of just culture is driven … Continue reading

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Never/zero thinking

There has been much talk in recent years about ‘never events’ and ‘zero harm’, similar to talk in the safety community about ‘zero accidents’. It sounds obvious: no one would want an accident. And we all wish that serious harm would not result from accidents. But as expressed and implemented top-down, never/zero is problematic for many reasons. In this post, I shall outline just a few, as I see them. Continue reading

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‘Human error’ in the headlines: Press reporting on Virgin Galactic

Again, a familiar smoke pattern has emerged from the ashes of a high-profile accident. The National Transportation Safety Board held a hearing in Washington D.C. on 28 July 2015 on the Virgin Galactic crash over California on October 31, 2014. … Continue reading

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Is ‘human error’ the handicap of human factors? A discussion among human factors specialists.

Following most major accidents, one phrase is almost guaranteed to headline in the popular press: ‘human error’. The concept is also popular in the ergonomics and human factors (EHF) discipline and profession; it is probably among the most profitable in … Continue reading

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Mind your Mindset: Safety-I and Safety-II

During the last few years, different ways of thinking about safety have challenged prevailing worldviews in safety-related professions. Many of the emerging ideas actually have clear roots in writings going back into the early 1980s (particularly by Jens Rasmussen, Erik … Continue reading

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