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Publisher's Summary

When faced with a human error problem, you may be tempted to ask "Why didn't these people watch out better?" Or, "How can I get my people more engaged in safety?"

You might think you can solve your safety problems by telling your people to be more careful, by reprimanding the miscreants, by issuing a new rule or procedure and demanding compliance. These are all expressions of "The Bad Apple Theory" where you believe your system is basically safe if it were not for those unreliable people in it.

Building on its successful predecessors, the third edition of The Field Guide to Understanding 'Human Error' will show a new way of dealing with a perceived "human error" problem in your organization. It will help you trace how your organization juggles inherent trade-offs between safety and other pressures and expectations, suggesting that you are not the custodian of an already safe system. It will encourage you to start looking more closely at the performance that others may still call "human error", allowing you to discover how your people create safety through practice, at all levels of your organization, mostly successfully, under the pressure of resource constraints and multiple conflicting goals. 

The Field Guide to Understanding 'Human Error' will help you understand how to move beyond "human error"; how to understand accidents; how to do better investigations; how to understand and improve your safety work. You will be invited to think creatively and differently about the safety issues you and your organization face. In each, you will find possibilities for a new language, for different concepts, and for new leverage points to influence your own thinking and practice, as well as that of your colleagues and organization. If you are faced with a human error problem, abandon the fallacy of a quick fix. Listen to this audio.

©2014 Sidney Dekker (P)2018 Sidney Dekker

What listeners say about The Field Guide to Understanding 'Human Error'

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Not workers fault

Imagery of an all too common manager who blames you for everything will probably hit close to home for most people. It vindicates workers in some ways, says what needs to be said out loud. Above all, it demonstrates a different approach that helps one not to go down the slippery slope of human blaming, which helps save lives at the end of the day.

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  • Adrienne Ashcraft
  • 2021-07-13

Amazing

Incredibly thought provoking from the first to last word! Absolute must read whether you are in the safety field or not.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Davis
  • 2019-07-28

Must read for incident managers

This book shows several uncommon, yet very logical, approaches to analysing incidents/accidents involving so called "human errors".
This book helps to move from human blaming (or eye-closing in blameless postmortems) to systematic analysis of the situation involving "human error".

1 person found this helpful

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  • David R Owens
  • 2019-04-20

Excellent

Excellent progressive view of human error. Valuable and practical approach to improving safety performance. Highly recommend for safety professional, but even more for the manager.

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  • Adrian
  • 2018-06-08

Great work mate

Great work see you at the next QLD Safety Differently Master Class. Cheers from a long time follow. AT

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  • Rob
  • 2022-05-08

MUST READ

This is a must read for anyone involved in safety science, safety management, improvement science, and all leaders. Sidney Dekker changes the landscape on organizational complications and “failures” that are a part of day to day work, that happen to people who came to work that day with the best of intentions. Blaming them really only weakens your organization.

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  • jayson pagan
  • 2021-11-21

awesome content

I only wish someone else read it. His voice can put you to sleep but great content.

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  • Zack Tyler
  • 2021-06-23

A must read for anybody in industry

Sydney's book challenges professionals to examine safety from a different point of view. I think it should be required reading for all safety departments, as well as all levels of management in all companies, big or small.

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  • NAVY04
  • 2019-12-28

Well thought, Well Studied, and On Point!

I’ve spent over 15 years working onboard nuclear powered submarines - incredibly complex machines that require volumes of procedures and policies to operate safely. I found Sydney’s work profound to not only to my work but to future analysis of failures for any industry that builds and operates complex technology. The author is quite boorish in his narration, but the content is great and worth a listen.

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  • Daniel
  • 2018-09-01

MUST LISTEN FOR ACCIDENT/ INCIDENT INVESTIGATORS!

Great theories and science if you're responsible for reviewing critical incidents or accidents. I use this book as a guide.

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  • joseph scott whitener
  • 2018-07-09

excellent book

This book is a must for any safety professional. The only problem is the reading. I could only listen for short periods because it would put me to sleep. Other than that it was a well written book.