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Systems-thinking for Safety

A short introduction to the theory and practice of systems-thinking.

Series:

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.

BIC Classifications

  • Society & social sciences (J)
    • Sociology & anthropology (JH)
      • Sociology (JHB)
        • Social research & statistics (JHBC)
  • Technology, engineering, agriculture (T)
    • Technology: general issues (TB)
      • Engineering: general (TBC)
    • Transport technology & trades (TR)
      • Intelligent & automated transport system technology (TRT)

BISAC Classifications

  • Social Science (SOC)
    • Sociology (SOC026)
      • SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General (SOC026000)
  • Technology & Engineering (TEC)
    • TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General) (TEC009000)

THEMA Classifications

  • Society & Social Sciences (J)
    • Sociology & anthropology (JH)
      • Sociology (JHB)
        • Social research & statistics (JHBC)
  • Technology, Engineering, Agriculture (T)
    • Technology: general issues (TB)
      • Engineering: general (TBC)
    • Transport technology & trades (TR)
      • Intelligent & automated transport system technology (TRT)