Professionals striving for accident reduction must deal with systems in which both technical and human elements play equal and complementary roles. However, many of the existing techniques in ergonomics and risk management concentrate on plant and technical issues and downplay human factors and "subjectivity." Safety Management: A Qualitative Systems Approach describes a body of theories and data that addresses safety by drawing on systems theory and applied psychology, stressing the importance of human activity within systems. It explains in detail the central roles of social consensus and reliability and the nature of verbal reports and functional discourse.
This text presents a new approach to safety management, offering a path to both greater safety and to economic savings. It presents a series of methodological tools that have proven to be reliable through extensive use in the rail and nuclear industries. These methods allow organizational and systems failures to be analyzed much more effectively in terms of quantity, precision, and usefulness.
The concepts and tools described in this book are particularly valuable for reliability engineers, risk managers, human factors specialists, and safety managers and professionals in safety-critical organizations.
Table of Contents
Safety, Risk and Responsibility
Science and Subjectivity
The Need to be Safe
Risk and Responsibility
Voluntary and Involuntary Action
Safety and Trust in Organizations
Better Value from Safety Data in a World of Diminishing Returns
Where is Risk Situated?
Safety, Subjectivity and Imagination
Knowledge: Objective or Subjective?
What Kind of Science?
Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and Chaos
Causality: a Property of the World, or All in the Mind?
Safety and Imagination
Justifying Proactive Safety
Predictive Validity of Near Misses
The Background to the Common Sense Hypothesis
Arguments against the Common Cause Hypothesis
Testing the Hypothesis
Collecting and Analyzing Minor Event Reports is a Useful Thing to Do
Confidential Reporting as an Approach to Collecting Near Miss
Why Confidential Reporting?
Incentives for Reporting
Preparation and Planning
The CIRAS Reporting System
Numbers and Words in Safety Management
The Epistemology of Incident Frequency Data
Case Study: Validatory Triangulation in a Safety Management Context
Dealing with Discourse
Hermeneutics and Accident Reports
An Organizational Model of Human Factors
The CIRAS Project
Kinds of Data
From Hermeneutics to Action
Causal Attribution and Safety Management
Traditional Attribution Theory
Functional Discourse and Attribution
Causal Investigation of Accidents Viewed as a Functional Act
Attribution and Safety Climate/Culture
An Attributional Analysis of Train Drivers' Explanations
Attributions and Implications
Inter-Rater Consensus in Safety Management
Definitions of Reliability
Problem Areas in Testing Consensus
Statistical Measurements of Inter-Rater Consensus
Procedures for Establishing Inter-Rater Consensus (IRC) and Within- Rater Consensus (WRC)
Error Taxonomies and 'Cognitivism'
Information Arousal Theory (IAT) and Train Driver Behavior
People: Controllers of Arousal
Numbers from Words
Human Error, Strategic Decision or Adaptive Action?
It Makes Economic Sense
Science: Induction versus Intuition
Catalog no. TF1634, May 2003, 240 pp., ISBN: 0-4153-0370-2, $109.95 / £72.99
"[T]his is, in many ways, a much needed and overdue academic contribution to the field of safety management. … [T]he book makes some excellent insights and arguments, and will make very valuable reading for postgraduate students, academics, researchers and developers in the field of confidential reporting systems, incident and accident analysis, error classification systems and inter-rater reliability."
- Ergonomics, Vol. 48, No. 1, January 2005