Monday, March 15, 2010

Vermont Yankee (part 2) - What Would Reason Say?

The "Reason" in the title refers to Dr. James Reason, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of Manchester.

“It is clear from in-depth accident analyses that some of the most powerful pushes towards local traps [characteristics of the workplace that lead people to compromise safety priorities] come from an unsatisfactory resolution of the inevitable conflict that exists (at least in the short-term) between the goals of safety and production. The cultural accommodation between the pursuit of these goals must achieve a delicate balance. On the one hand, we have to face the fact that no organization is just in the business of being safe.  Every company must obey both the ' ALARP ' principle (keep the risks as low as reasonably practicable) and the 'ASSIB' principle (and still stay in business). On the other hand, it is now increasingly clear that few organizations can survive a catastrophic organizational accident (Reason 1997).”

"Achieving a Safe Culture: Theory and Practice." (1998), p. 301.

Dr. Reason has been a leading and influential thinker in the area of safety and risk management in the workplace and the creation of safety culture in high risk industries.  Get to know Dr. Reason through his own words in future blog posts featuring some of his key insights.

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