In this episode Gareth Lock and I talk about human factors and the importance of creating a team based environment and culture that supports open and honest feedback for safety and organizational improvement. Gareth talks about his efforts to improve safety in recreational diving as well.
Gareth Lock Biography:
Gareth is passionate about improving personal performance, taking lessons-learned from 25 years in the Royal Air Force as a C-130 navigator, instructor, military advisor to the research community and a requirements manager into different domains. His main area of focus at the moment is bringing human factors knowledge and non-technical skills or crew resource management training into recreational and technical diving, a sport with an inherent and irreducible risk. He is currently undertaking a part-time PhD examining the role of Human Factors in Diving incidents and accidents, and has recently launched two courses teaching human factors skills and knowledge to divers, especially relevant to those who face higher levels of risk or are supervisors or instructors.
There is more behind the scenes than human error. When accidents or incidents happen and human error is listed as the cause, there is normally more within the system that led to the human error.
A lack of evidence as a result of a lack of reporting can impede improvement.
Defensiveness and a lack of accepting criticism can be a barrier to safety and organizational improvement.
“Absence of evidence doesn’t mean evidence of absence”-Nassim Taleb.
Just because there may not be a great deal of evidence about negative events doesn’t mean that safety deviations aren’t happening. Normalized deviance of proper and safe practices over time without any obvious incidents or accidents may lead people to believe that what they are doing is safe even though there may be excessive risk in the deviance from proper and safe procedures.
Building a habit of pre-checks, operational and safety awareness during operational execution, debriefing and lessons learned that seeks open and honest feedbackmay help improve human and organizational performance.
It can be hard to replicate operational failures in a lecture, but discussions and simulations may help accelerate the process of learning.
Adaptability as a core skill should be taught to teams working in high-risk environments.
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Books: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Just Culture by Sidney Dekker
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