Thursday, March 18, 2010

Honest Errors vs Unacceptable Errors

This podcast is excerpted from an interview of Dr. James Reason in association with VoiceMap (, a provider of live guidance applications to improve human performance. In this second segment, Dr. Reason discusses how to build a better safety culture based on a “just” culture. He also cites the need to distinguish between honest errors (he estimates 90% of errors fall in this category) and unacceptable errors.

With regard to the importance of a “just culture” you may want to refer back to our post of August 3, 2009 where we highlight a book of that title by Sidney Dekker. In that post we emphasize the need to balance accountability and learning in the investigation of the causes of errors. Both advocates of a just culture, Reason and Dekker, are from European countries and their work may not be as well known in the U.S. nuclear industry but it appears to contain valuable lessons for us.

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