IMPROVING SAFETY PERFORMANCE IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM AND THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES
Although the safety record of the process industries is good, almost all the accidents that occur need not have occurred. Often, after an accident or near-miss, we neglect opportunities to learn and remember: • Accident reports identify only a single cause. • They are often superficial, dealing only with the immediate causes. We should also look for ways of avoiding the hazards, such as inherently safer design, and for weaknesses in the management system. • They often list human error as a cause without saying what sort of error. Yet different actions are needed to prevent those due to ignorance, those due to slips or lapses of attention and those due to non-compliance. • They often list causes we can do little about. • We do not allow others to learn as much as they could from our experiences. • We forget the lessons learned and the accident happens again. We need better training, by describing accidents first rather than principles, as accidents grab our attention, and we need discussion rather that lecturing, so that more is remembered. We need databases that can present relevant information without the user having to ask for it. Some actions that universities might take are discussed.
Kletz, Trevor (2000). IMPROVING SAFETY PERFORMANCE IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM AND THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES. Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center; Texas &M University. Libraries. Available electronically from