Catastrophe and Systemic Change: Learning from the Grenfell Tower Fire and Other Disasters by Gill Kernick
Review undertaken by Duncan Spencer CFIOSH, head of advice and practice, IOSH
So, you think you have a good safety management system? That you have adequately mitigated the safety and occupational health risks in your organisation? Not only that, perhaps you have also met the standards set out in ISO 45001.
The uncomfortable truth is maybe, just maybe, you have been lulled into a false sense of achievement. Have you truly nailed it, or have you inadvertently generated a bureaucracy that veils the truth of the risk that your organisation faces?
'If you truly wish to help your employer to become a learning organisation, you must read this book'
What is undeniable is that the world is changing at an incredible rate. Every day it becomes more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Regulatory systems are known to be porous and flawed. Standards can be conflicting and even actively bypassed by invention and innovation. Leadership styles are often out of step with modern reality. Pressure groups, social media and other lobbying activity are becoming more prolific both inside and outside of organisations. The world, your organisation, is in a constant state of flux. What worked yesterday may not be effective today and maybe even be obsolete tomorrow.
This excellent book by Gill Kernick shines a light on all those undercurrents and how, as you read this, they may even be undermining your safety management system. If you truly wish to help your employer to become a learning organisation, you must read this book. If you are interested in how to address low likelihood and high impact risk, you really need to read this book. It’s not strictly about the Grenfell Tower tragedy, it’s about how to identify if your organisation has its own 'Grenfell Tower' in waiting.