Friday, March 19, 2010

“We have a great safety culture = deep trouble” or what squirrels can teach us...

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 third segment, Dr. Reason discusses impediments to safety culture. He observes that when management announces that we have a great safety culture, it should be taken as a symptom of an organization that is vulnerable. The proper posture according to Dr. Reason is the “chronic unease” that he sees embodied in squirrels and other species that see constant vulnerability, even when there is no apparent immediate threat. The inverse of chronic unease is, of course, complacency. The “c” word has been invoked more frequently of late by the NRC (see our November 12, 2009 post) which could be viewed as threat enough.

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