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Safety Differently: Human Factors for a New Era


Publisher

: 

CRC Press, Boca Raton

Title

: 

Safety Differently: Human Factors for a New Era

 Author  Sidney Dekker

Year of Publication

: 

2015

Pages

: 

296

ISBN

: 

978-1-4822-4299-0

Reviewer

: 

Krishna B. Misra

Status

:

Review Complete


The book comprises 8 chapters that are preceded by a Preface, Acknowledgements and About the Author and are followed by References and Index.

 

 

Chapter 1

Making the World a Better Place

33 Pages

 

Chapter 2

It Was Human Error

43Pages

 

Chapter 3

People as a Problem to Control

36 Pages

 

Chapter 4

Danger of Losing Situation Awareness

35 Pages

 

Chapter 5

Accidents

21 Pages

 

Chapter 6

Methods and Models

34 Pages

 

Chapter 7

New Technology and Automation

28 Pages

Chapter 8

New Era in Safety

38 Pages

 

References

12 Pages

 

Index

12 Pages

 


The author of this book is a professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia and runs the Safety Science Innovation Laboratory. He has authored many best-selling books on human factors and safety. This book, in second edition, is a complete update of Ten Questions About Human Error: A New View of Human Factors and safety-differently-978-1-4822-4299-0System Safety. He works as a part-time pilot of Boeing 737NG and therefore it is not surprising that many examples and case studies cited on safety problems in the book are from aviation area. The book includes discussion of the latest human factors/ergonomics research in safety problems and provides case studies on human factors and safety.

This is an interesting book and therefore the reviewer would like to recommend that it should be read by anyone who is keen to understand whether the subject of safety should be human-centric or not? The author believes that for the first half of the 20th century, the safety problems were addressed by controlling the human factors. A new paradigm in human factors has sprouted in which the world in which people work is not fixed. Instead, the technology needs to be adopted to fit the strengths and limitations of the people. Therefore the safety problems were addressed by controlling the technology, the environment and the system. People are not the initiators of a failure but recipient of it. In so–called “Swiss Cheese” image of a system the outcome failure is the result of many smaller prior failures in organizational and administrative layers upstream and these failures are related to procedures, design, supervision and management and in order to fix these failures there to prevent outcome failures.

Departing from modernist safety concept where cause-effect relationships are linear, to new era of safety, where cause-effect relationships are complex and non-linear, we need to transit from seeing people as a problem to control to seeing people as a solution to harness. We need to transit from seeing safety as a bureaucratic accountability to seeing it as ethical responsibility. We need to transit from seeing safety as an absence of negative to seeing it as the positive capacity to make things go right.

Resilience considers safety as a presence of capacities, capabilities and competencies to make things go right. Safety no longer it should be seen as absence of negatives such as errors, violations or incidences. Resilience engineering provides a new framework to understand people as a solution to harness. High performance teams and resilient organizations are those who develop and harness people’s competencies and capabilities. While robust systems are effective in meeting predicted threats and are capable of maintaining process integrity within the design, training and procedural parameters, while the resilient systems are effective in meeting threats that represent infinite reconfigurations and are capable of maintaining process integrity even outside the design base, training or procedural provisions.

This book must be read by all engineers who are concerned with the safety of engineering systems.

 

This review has been published in Vol. 11, No. 6,  November 2015 issue of the IJPE

 

 
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