Tag Archives: safety II

Safety Perspectives and Running

UntitledDuring a running training with 15 fellow runners, we had a half hour work-out on stairs that ran along the fire station of my hometown (see picture). The question that arose, after having done this intense but fulfilling training, was about safety. Was this a safely performed training exercise? And this depends a lot on your definition of safety. I will approach this question using the two perspectives Safety I and Safety II. Safety as the absence of … Continue Reading ››

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

DSCN0484Following 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 terms of research and consultancy dollars. While seductively simple to the layperson, it comes with a variety of meanings and interpretations with respect to causation and culpability. With its evocative associations, synonyms, and position in our own … Continue Reading ››

FRAM and System Principles in Practice

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA client approached us about a recent incident in a process involving three organizations. They asked for an independent investigation into the incident. During the initial meeting it became clear that there was some relevant history to the process in which the incident happened. A year ago, some of the operational personnel in the process were relocated to a central location to improve the process in terms of use of personnel and other resources such … Continue Reading ››

The Exploration

file000541344089Recently I was leafing through a magazine while waiting patiently for my  morning caffeine hit and noticed that  nearly every second page seemed to contain advertising for the latest, most stylish designer wristwatches. It struck me that they  all fulfilled one basic need, that is to inform the wearer of the time of day. They can also provide a plethora of information to the user from fitness to entertainment. So what started as a basic need to be … Continue Reading ››

Lean, Green Safety Machine – Part 3

file0001066060124There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure. As quoted in The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell (2003) by Oren Harari, p. 164 Recently, I was discussing some issues with a colleague who was highlighting a number of isolation breaches on a particular project during commissioning. I suggested that the commissioning team actually rehearses the sections of the commissioning packs as planned for that day or the following day. … Continue Reading ››

Lean, Green Safety Machine – Part 2

IraqWar is, above all things, an art, employing science in all its branches as its servant, but depending first and chiefly upon the skill of the artisan. It has its own rules, but not one of them is rigid and invariable. As new implements are devised new methods result in its mechanical execution; but over and above all its mechanical appliances, it rests upon the complex factors of human nature, which cannot be reduced to formulas and … Continue Reading ››

What Safety-II isn’t

6530383391_d7bdbea156_zIn September 2013, a White Paper was released by EUROCONTROL on a different way of thinking about safety: Safety-II. For me, Safety-II is no less than a paradigm shift in safety, bringing together various strands of thought, by various different people, that have unfolded for some time. The juxtaposition of Safety-I and Safety-II has provided a way of comparing two ways of looking and thinking about safety and systems which … Continue Reading ››

Lean, Green Safety Machine – Part 1

cambodiaWith spring (March to May) in Afghanistan comes the fighting season. As the mountain snow recedes, Afghani tribesmen are once again able to move around the mountains and through the mountain passes. Traditionally the tribesmen have used the improved conditions of the fighting season to settle blood feuds and harass invading forces. In the current conflict the target of the tribesmen’s wrath has been the coalition forces and those Afghanis who support them. As the 2010 fighting … Continue Reading ››

Resilience and the Pembroke refinery explosion

Chevron_pembroke_refPembroke Refinery is an oil processing facility on the Milford Haven Waterway, in Wales. It was the site of a multiple-fatality explosion in 2011, and the grounding of the Sea Empress in 1996, releasing a major oil spill into Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Prior to both of these events, Pembroke Refinery made national headlines with another explosion and fire, fortunately non-fatal. Early on the morning of 24th July, 1994, there was a dry electrical storm raging above the … Continue Reading ››

What is it good for?

DSCN5808fIf I am asked 'what is it that I love about safety' my response is 'the ability to be creative'.  There is a huge scope to be creative when working in safety.  Coming up with solutions, thinking of different ways to present information, creating interactive activities, thinking of ways to generate discussion.  The possibilities are endless.  But that can also be a problem.  Let's assume that you believe in working outside the box.  That you … Continue Reading ››