Applying the “new view” safety philosophy to laboratories

Coming up on March 2 is a free webinar on “The New View: Tools for Engineering a Stronger Lab Safety Culture,” sponsored by BioRaft.

What is the new view? I’m still trying to figure that out. Here’s one summary from J. Safe. Res. 2002, DOI: 10.1016/S0022-4375(02)00032-4:

One view, recently dubbed ‘‘the old view’’ (AMA, 1998; Reason, 2000), sees human error as a cause of failure. In the old view of human error:

  • Human error is the cause of most accidents.
  • The engineered systems in which people work are made to be basically safe; their success is intrinsic. The chief threat to safety comes from the inherent unreliability of people.
  • Progress in safety can be made by protecting these systems from unreliable humans through selection, proceduralization, automation, training, and discipline.

The other view, also called ‘‘the new view,’’ sees human error not as a cause, but as a symptom of failure (AMA, 1998; Hoffman & Woods, 2000; Rasmussen & Batstone, 1989; Reason, 2000; Woods, Johannesen, Cook, & Sarter, 1994). In the new view of human error:

  • Human error is a symptom of trouble deeper inside the system.
  • Safety is not inherent in systems. The systems themselves are contradictions between multiple goals that people must pursue simultaneously. People have to create safety.
  • Human error is systematically connected to features of people tools, tasks, and operating environment. Progress on safety comes from understanding and influencing these connections.

Here’s a more recent blog post exploring what “new view” means. The “new view” is also related to a perspective called Safety II, which is described in this whitepaper by the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation.

As for the webinar itself, BioRaft says it will cover:

Safety professionals in diverse industries around the world use the New View to improve communication and safety in their organizations, so why not bring this methodology to lab safety? In this free webinar, speakers Dave Christenson and Ron Gantt will teach you the philosophy behind the New View, what it is capable of accomplishing, and how you can go out and begin to make it work for you.

After completing this webinar, you will:
– Understand what the New View is and how it improves communication and safety.
– Learn why industries like nuclear power rely on the New View.
– Be able to use the New View to assess your safety culture.
– Have the tools to build trust in your organization.
– Receive practical suggestions on how to start using this methodology in your institution.

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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