In recent years, the world has been all aflutter about workplace safety. First it was the advent of “goal zero”, then the deeper thinking that zero as a goal was harmful. Next, we heard how safety – as we know it – is broken. All the while the disasters continue: Buncefield, La Porte, Deepwater Horizon, Texas City, Pike River, Rana Plaza. The media are never shy of telling us that the way we’re working isn’t working. Society, naturally, responds – and why shouldn’t it?
It’s almost impossible to question the importance of leadership when managing OSH. As this book’s preface states: “If an organisation lacks a clear vision or there is disengagement by the leadership team, then the results can be disastrous.”...
If you are a safety and health practitioner and think you don’t know much about the principles of crisis management, then a glance at the chapter headings (Risk assessment, Prevention, Response) of Christer Pursiainen’s book, or the appendices on the ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) principle, bow-tie diagrams and fault-tree analysis, might make you reconsider.
About a year ago, I reviewed Craig Marriott’s proposal for this book on behalf of the publisher so I was curious to see how it had turned out. Overall, I haven’t been disappointed.
Every now and again a new publication will contain novel thoughts, ideas and approaches that could help us to do our job better, more easily or both. Just occasionally, a book comes along that is as refreshing as a cold beer at the end of a hot day’s hard graft. This latest offering from Routledge is one of those.
Sidney Dekker is like Marmite. There are those who love what he says and others who can’t stand the taste of his words. Indeed, the first page of this book showcases this fact with quotes from attendees at his safety anarchist lectures. Personally, I’m a big fan of Marmite and of Dekker’s perspective on safety.
This is not a big book, but it packs a lot of ideas into 142 pages. The author, now a consultant but formerly in a senior OSH post at Australian miner and nickel refiner BHP Billiton, has a lot of experience to draw on but he is also clearly well read. One of the strengths of this book is how he harnesses theories from writers such as Todd Conklin and Daniel Kahneman to the service of accident analysis.
Governance, or organisational control and oversight, of environment, health and safety (EHS) risks is a critical part of any board’s responsibility as well as that of business leaders. Yet much of the literature on EHS governance for safety professionals is basic and sparse
“As a safety manager at a large factory site, today’s been good for me. No one’s been trapped by machinery, crushed by a forklift or fallen to their death through a skylight. In fact, we haven’t even had a cut finger. On the health front, no one’s been diagnosed with asbestosis, hand-arm vibration syndrome or Legionnaires’ disease, and no one’s been off sick with stress or a back problem. It was the same yesterday; hopefully, it will be the same tomorrow. Just one worry: will I be promoted because my preventive work is so effective or selected for redundancy because I’m clearly not needed?”
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