Culture and behavioural safety
An introduction to behavioural safety
Have you ever wondered why people do what they do? Is there a way to influence the way people behave so that the job gets completed in the most efficient, productive and safe manner? In the discipline of behavioural safety, the most effective way to achieve this is to understand the underlying reasons for people's outwardly expressed behaviour and to give them an informed choice in the workplace.
Balancing personal and system safety
Holding the handrail and putting lids on cups of hot coffee will not prevent major accidents. That is the message coming through loud and clear in the aftermath of recent disasters such as the Texas City refinery explosion in 2005, the Gulf of Mexico oil well blowout in 2010 and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in 2011. Disasters don't happen because someone slips down the stairs or bumps their head. They result from flawed ways of doing business that allow inappropriate risk control.
Chronic unease – the hidden ingredient in successful safety leadership?
Leaders working in high hazard industries are faced with a difficult personal challenge: how do you avoid complacency about major accidents such as a nuclear release, oil spill or train derailment, when such events rarely happen? How do you not 'forget to be afraid'?
Leadership matters – safety as a value?
The previous issue of RISKworld focused on the things that leaders need to do right to assure major hazard safety. Whilst a list of things to do can be insightful for a motivated leader, the list simply adds to things that a leader already has to do, whether commercial, technical, human resources, etc. For example, traditional safety leadership tends to focus on what to do rather than addressing what may be considered to be 'deeper drivers' of safety leadership, such as holding safety as a value.
Lessons learned from Lehman Brothers
Lehman Brothers' former head of compliance recently spoke out for the first time and gave an insider's perspective on failures at the US investment bank which led to its spectacular collapse in September last year [Ref 1]. David DeMuro cited four reasons for what went wrong at Lehman. There are many parallels between these issues and managing potential major accidents in high hazard
Major hazard safety leadership
Investigations into recent major accidents, such as the Texas City refinery explosion, the Gulf of Mexico oil well blowout and the Fukushima nuclear accident, all highlight the importance of effective leadership in preventing disasters in the major hazard industries. But why emphasise leadership and not management? What does a leader need to do differently to assure major hazard safety as opposed to personal safety?
Operationalising your safety case – engaging the workforce
The development or revision of a health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) case inevitably involves significant time and effort, with input from a wide range of people and departments. However, once the HSSE case is delivered, the opportunity to truly embed it in day-to-day operations is often missed, leaving the workforce thinking, "How do I use it and what is expected of me?"
The widely reported 'sub-prime' crisis in the financial markets has had global implications. In simple terms, extremely complex and sophisticated financial engineering created an illusion of security [see Fig 1]. In reality, the foundation to this financial engineering was mortgage loans to people in the US with poor credit ratings, seeking to benefit from rising house prices.
Ten good practices for stakeholder communication throughout the safety case lifecycle
The folly of ‘paper safety’ – lessons from the Nimrod review
On 2nd September 2006, RAF Nimrod XV230 was on a routine mission over Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan when, only minutes after completing air-to-air refuelling, she suffered a catastrophic mid-air fire which led to the total loss of the aircraft and the death of all 14 on board. Following the initial investigation by the Board of Inquiry which reported on the probable cause of the accident, a broader independent review was instigated in late 2007.