In this week’s episode, we tackle an interesting conundrum in safety through a paper written by René Amalberti. The idea he poses is that aiming for zero errors in the workplace should not be the goal – in fact, some errors should be encouraged to ensure learning. The author also challenges the idea of continuously improving the safety of systems – stating that this could actually become detrimental to the overall safety of a workplace.
Find out our thoughts on this paper and our key takeaways for the ever-changing world of workplace safety.
- Introduction to the paper & the Author
- “Adding more rules is not going to make your system safer.”
- The principles of safety in the paper
- Types of safety systems as broken down by the paper
- Problems in these “Ultrasafe systems”
- The Summary of developments of human error
- The psychology of making mistakes
- The Efficiency trade-off element in safety
- Suggestions in Amalberti’s conclusion
- Takeaway messages
- Answering the question: Why does safety get harder as systems get safer?
“Systems are good – but they are bad because humans make mistakes” – Dr. Drew Rae
“He doesn’t believe that zero is the optimal number of human errors” – Dr. Drew Rae
“You can’t look at mistakes in isolation of the context” – Dr. Drew Rae
“The context and the system drive the behavior. – Dr. David Provan
“It’s part of the human condition to accept mistakes. It is actually an important part of the way we learn and develop our understanding of things. – Dr. David Provan
The Paradoxes of Almost Totally Safe Transportation Systems by R. Amalberti
Risk Management in a Dynamic society: a Modeling problem – Jens Rasmussen
The ETTO Principle: Efficiency-Thoroughness Trade-Off: Why Things That Go Right Sometimes Go Wrong – Book by Erik Hollnagel
Navigating safety: Necessary Compromises and Trade-Offs – Theory and Practice – Book by R. Amalberti