Safety Myth 101: A Quick Overview
The book contains seven chapters, some of these divided into sub-chapters. The chapters and sub-chapters are collections of Myths that are loosely related and all deal with the subject of the (sub)-chapter.
The Myths are discussions of a subject or of a couple of related subjects. These discussions are as compact as possible, taking between one and four pages. To keep things compact, some points or comments have been placed in endnotes. This is information that is important (or at least interesting, or sometime just funny), but not essential for the point to be made. You do not need to read endnotes to get the point, but you might miss some goodies.
Most chapters contain additional material in the form of columns that are placed in shaded text boxes. These columns are typically reflections related to the chapter’s subject.
Each chapter comes with a section with recommendations for further reading (including brief reviews/summaries of the mentioned books) and, as mentioned, a section with endnotes.
Introduction: Houston, We Have a Problem
Why Are Things the Way They Are?
What Can Be Done?
I: General issues
Myth 1. Safety Is about Absence of Accidents
Myth 2. Safety Means Absence of Risk
Myth 3. Safety Is Black and White
Myth 4. Safety Is Something You Have
Myth 5. Hazards Are Undesirable
Myth 6. Safety and Security Are Two Different Things
Language and Communication
Myth 7. Language Doesn’t Matter
Myth 8. Difficult Jargon Demonstrates Competence
Myth 9. As Simple as Possible
Myth 10. Absolutes Are a Sign of Clear and Firm Communication
Myth 11. Slogans Are a Great Way to Enhance Safety
Myth 12. Culture and Resilience are Just Buzzwords
Column: Safety Behaviour Language between the Lines
Myth 13. Common Sense Is Just Common Sense
Myth 14. Safety Is Just Common Sense?
Myth 15. Don’t You Have Any Common Sense?
Myth 16. Models Are to Be Understood Literally
Myth 17. Causation Is Correlation
Myth 18. Follow the Crowd
Myth 19. The Application Is the Method
Myth 20. Research Explains Itself
II: The Safety Professional
Myth 21. You Are a Bad Safety Professional if…
Myth 22. Safety Professional’s Behaviour Is Superhuman
Myth 23. Save the World!
Myth 24. Judging Safety Professionals by Preventing Accidents
Myth 25. Safety Stat Accountability
Myth 26. Authority to STOP
Myth 27. The Safety Pro’s Prime Responsibility Is Safety
Myth 28. The Safety Pro Has All the Answers
Myth 29. No Need to Read Professional Literature
Myth 30. Sticking to Safety
Myth 31. You Know Nothing, Jon Snow
Myth 32. Being Out There
Myth 33. Safety Cops
Myth 34. Diplomas Make Good Safety Professionals
Myth 35. Accidental Safety Experts
Myth 36. Humour Has No Place in Safety
III: Safety Management & More
Myth 37. The PDCA Cycle Was Invented by Deming
Myth 38. Surely PPE Will Keep You Safe?
Myth 39. Management and Leadership Are the Same Thing
Myth 40. Safety Can Be Managed Separately
Myth 41. Compliance Is What We Need
Myth 42. Sanction-Enhanced Safety
Myth 43. Safety Rules Are for Safety Only
Myth 44. Golden Rules
Myth 45. ISO Certification Ensures Controlling Your Risks
Myth 46. Copy a Safety Program That Works
Myth 47. The More Safety Measures, the Better
Myth 48. Silver Bullets
Myth 49. The 1 : 29 : 300 Ratio
Myth 50. Heinrich’s Pyramid Is about Causation
Myth 51. Normal Accident Theory Is the Opposite of HRO
Myth 52. Observation Programs Create Safety
Myth 53. Safe and Unsafe Behaviour
Myth 54. Be Careful!
Myth 55. Mistakes Are Bad
Myth 56. Safety Is a Choice
Myth 57. Check/Study = Audit
Myth 58. Absolutes Make Great Audit Criteria
Myth 59. Disorder Is the Natural Enemy of Safety
Myth 60. Management of Change = Change Management?
Myth 61. We Have Been Doing This for 30 Years
Myth 62. Safety Culture = Following Safety Rules
Myth 63. A Positive Mind-Set Is Necessary to Create Safety
Myth 64. Toilets Tell about Culture
Myth 65. Safety Culture Must be Changed
Myth 66. Culture Change Is a Top-Down Process
Myth 67. Safety Culture Certification
Myth 68. Safety Is Everybody’s Responsibility
V: Measuring Safety, Goals and Indicators
Myth 69. If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It
Myth 70. Safety First!
Myth 71. Injury Rates Tell How Well You Are Doing at Safety
Myth 72. Our Goal Must Be Zero!
Myth 73. No Zero Harm Goal? You Plan to Hurt People!
Myth 74. Incentive Schemes Improve Safety
Myth 75. One Needs Only Leading Indicators
Myth 76. Three Incidents?! We MUST Have Actions!
Myth 77. The More Data, the Better
Myth 78. Benchmarking Is Good for Safety
Myth 79. Red = Bad
Column: Zero Harm Is an Occupational Disease
VI: Incidents, Accidents and their Causes
Myth 80. All Accidents Are Preventable
Myth 81. ‘Acts of God’ Are No Accidents
Myth 82. Shit Happens?
Myth 83. People Are the Problem
Myth 84. The 88: 10: 2 Ratio
Myth 85. Heinrich’s Dominos? Really?
Myth 86. Accidents Happen Like a String Of Dominos Tumbling
Myth 87. Accident-prone, Anyone?
Myth 88. No Causes Needed for Corrective Action
Myth 89. The Accident Board Investigates. We Don’t Have To!
Myth 90. Incidents not Worth Reporting
Myth 91. Investigation until the Root Cause
Myth 92. Labelling Causes Is Useful
Myth 93. THE Cause
Myth 94. Management Causes
Myth 95. Non-Compliance Equals Cause
Myth 96. All Accidents Are Complex Non-linear Events
Myth 97. Could Have, Should Have…
Myth 98. We Can Only Learn from Things that Went Wrong
Myth 99. Causes, Conditions, Context and Confusion
Myth 100. Counting Causes Is Useful
Column: Five GREAT Reasons for Not Reporting Incidents
VII: Risk and Risk Assessment
Myth 101. Risk Must Be Eliminated
Myth 102. Risk Is only Probability and Consequence
Myth 103. Probability Is about Numbers
Myth 104. Risk and Uncertainty Are the Same
Myth 105. Probability Cannot Be Used for Security Events
Myth 106. Risk Is Determined Based on Objective Factors
Myth 107. Black Swans Are the Same as ‘Acts of God’
Myth 108. Worst Case Scenarios
Myth 109. Risk Assessments Can Be Done by Safety Pros Alone
Myth 110. Risk Assessments without Safety Professionals?
Myth 111. Risk Assessment Documents Are Huge Reports
Myth 112. Hazard Identification Is a Waste of Time
Myth 113. Only Our Imagination Limits…
Myth 114. Risk Assessments Are Time Consuming and Tedious
Myth 115. Risk Assessment by Checklist
Myth 116. Quantitative Risk Assessments Are so Much Better
Myth 117. Qualitative Assessments Are the Easy Way Out
Myth 118. Risk Acceptance Criteria
Myth 119. ALARP Is Only about Cost and Benefit
Myth 120. Multiplying Equals Quantitative Risk Assessment
Myth 121. Qualitative Risk Assessments Equal Risk Matrices
Myth 122. Risk Assessment and Decision Making
Myth 123. LMRA
Column: 12 Do’s for Risk Assessments
Back to the Safety Myth 101 main page.
The following Mind The Risk books are available:
Preventing Industrial Accidents (published through Routledge/Taylor & Francis)
Veiligheidsfabels 1-2-3 (published through Vakmedianet)
CAUTION: Reading these books or parts thereof may
seriously harm your professional beliefs and habits
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About the name...
There are many facets to the name. Just skimming the surface:
- A nice play on words with a safety-related topic.
- A link to the rail business where we (among others) come from.
- The concept of Risk is central in all elements of HSEQ - positive AND negative.
- Mindfulness (cf. Weick) is one way of handling risk.
- It hints at the psychological aspects of safety.
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