What is the impact on safety management?
If we transfer these statements to the daily practice of safety management, this implies that:
– we can never reduce the responsibility for a mistake or an incident to the actions of a single person. It is an oversimplification of a complex process.
– we can only understand safety incidents by researching the whole context in which the behavior occurred.
– we can never improve safety performance in a structural way as long as we don’t change the circumstances. Even when taking the step of removing a person from the situation, there is hardly any effect as the key triggers that evoke behavior stay the same.
– our self image deviates from how behavior is actually performed. We tend to overestimate our competences to act safely, which makes us accident prone.
– we have to take care that we base our safety policy not on our personal judgement but on bare facts. E.g. although we can be convinced that we can drive safely whilst using the phone, facts teach us that the combination of driving and phoning is potentially dangerous.