Edited by Simon Bennett
Professor Erik Hollnagel, University of Southern Denmark
Professor Ragnar Löfstedt, King's Centre for Risk Management, King’s College London, UK
Professor Alan Irwin, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Captain Rogers E. Smith, NASA Dryden Flight Research
Professor Washington Yotto Ochieng, Imperial College London, UK
Professor Dominic Elliott, University of Liverpool Management School, UK
Captain Tim Berry, Jet2.com
Dr Robert Hunter, British Air Line Pilots Association (BALPA), UK
Dr Anne Eyre, Trauma Training Ltd, UK
Dr David Fletcher, University of Leicester, UK
Associate Professor David Ison, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, USA
Dr Terry Shevells, University of Leicester, UK
Associate Professor Tony Masys, University of South Florida, USA
Dr Simon Bennett, University of Leicester, UK
This series draws on the success of the systems-thinking approach to safety management in commercial and military aviation, with a view to improving safety performance in other complex socio-technical systems, such as health-care, nuclear power generation, chemicals production, oil and gas extraction, deep mining and sea and rail transportation.
Following the 1977 Tenerife air disaster (that killed 583 people), a traumatised and vilified aviation industry resolved to improve its safety performance. The adoption of a systems-thinking approach to risk analysis and mitigation, expressed in innovations such as the teamworking protocol crew resource management, has benefited the industry. In 2010 the industry achieved a world accident rate for scheduled flights of 4·0 accidents per million departures. This rate reflects a total of 121 accidents out of 30,556,513 scheduled flights. You are much, much safer in a pressurised aluminium tube cruising at eighty per cent the speed of sound six miles above terra firma than you are driving up the M1 on a sunny day in a modern, gas-bag equipped automobile, fully alert and not under the influence.
The series is aimed at practitioners as well as academics and students. To this end, it is written in an accessible style with jargon explained. This reflects its purpose: to leverage change.
An Examination of the Lifestyle of Commercial Pilots
A short introduction to the theory and practice of systems-thinking.
Simon A Bennett
A manifesto for the systems-thinking-informed approach to incident and accident investigation, this accessible text is aimed at experts and generalists. A Glossary of Terms explains key concepts.
The premise is both unoriginal and original. Unoriginal, because it stands on the shoulders of systems-thinking pioneers – Barry Turner, Bruno Latour, Charles Perrow, Erik Hollnagel, Diane Vaughan and other luminaries. Original, because it is populist: The Systems-thinking for Safety series shows how theoretical insights can help make the world a safer place. Potentially, the series as a whole, and this manifesto text, have agency.
True to its mission to affect change, the book uses case studies to demonstrate how systems-thinking can help stakeholders learn from incidents, accidents and near-misses. The case studies of, for example, the Piper Alpha and Deepwater Horizon offshore disasters, the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the United States Navy collisions and the Grenfell Tower fire, demonstrate the universal applicability of systems-thinking. The manifesto argues that the systems-thinking informed approach to incident, accident and near-miss investigation, while resource intensive and effortful, produces tangible safety benefits and, by ensuring that «right is done», delivers justice and closure.