Systems model of organizational accidents

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systems model of organizational accidents

Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents by James T. Reason

Major accidents are rare events due to the many barriers, safeguards and defences developed by modern technologies. But they continue to happen with saddening regularity and their human and financial consequences are all too often unacceptably catastrophic. One of the greatest challenges we face is to develop more effective ways of both understanding and limiting their occurrence. This lucid book presents a set of common principles to further our knowledge of the causes of major accidents in a wide variety of high-technology systems. It also describes tools and techniques for managing the risks of such organizational accidents that go beyond those currently available to system managers and safety professionals. James Reason deals comprehensively with the prevention of major accidents arising from human and organizational causes. He argues that the same general principles and management techniques are appropriate for many different domains. These include banks and insurance companies just as much as nuclear power plants, oil exploration and production companies, chemical process installations and air, sea and rail transport. Its unique combination of principles and practicalities make this seminal book essential reading for all whose daily business is to manage, audit and regulate hazardous technologies of all kinds. It is relevant to those concerned with understanding and controlling human and organizational factors and will also interest academic readers and those working in industrial and government agencies.
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Published 02.01.2019

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Posted by Andrew McGiffert 06 Feb 13 0 comments. Reason proposed that there are two types of accidents, those that happen to individuals and those that happen to organisations, Reason, , 1. Although individual accidents are much more common Reasons model focuses on organizational accidents. This model can be used to explain accident causation in complex technological systems, such as nuclear power plants, commercial aviation, rail transport, etc. Organisational accidents do not occur due to a single human error; they have multiple causes involving many people operating at different levels. Defences, barriers and safeguards are key requirements in complex safety systems.

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Industry-wide acceptance of the concept of the organizational accident was made possible by a simple, yet graphically powerful, model developed by Professor James Reason, which provided a means for understanding how aviation or any other production system operates successfully or drifts into failure. Because complex systems such as aviation are extremely well-defended by layers of defenses in-depth, single-point failures are rarely consequential in the aviation system. Equipment failures or operational errors are never the cause of breaches in safety defenses, but rather the triggers. Breaches in safety defenses are a delayed consequence of decisions made at the highest levels of the system, which remain dormant until their effects or damaging potential are activated by specific sets of operational circumstances. In the concept advanced by the Reason model, all accidents include a combination of both active and latent conditions.

2 thoughts on “Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents by James T. Reason

  1. Reasons Organisational Model of System Accidents. Posted by Andrew McGiffert |06 Feb 13 | 0 comments. Reason proposed that there are two types of.

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