The human contribution: unsafe acts, accidents and heroic recoveries

This book explores the human contribution to the reliability and resilience of complex, well-defended systems. Usually the human is considered a hazard - a system component whose unsafe acts are implicated in the majority of catastrophic breakdowns. However there is another perspective that has been relatively little studied in its own right - the human as hero, whose adaptations and compensations bring troubled systems back from the brink of disaster time and again. What, if anything, did these situations have in common? Can these human abilities be ’bottled’ and passed on to others? The Human Contribution is vital reading for all professionals in high-consequence environments and for managers of any complex system.

Book contents:

  1. The Human Contribution: Hazard and Hero

  2. A Mind User’s Guide

  3. The Nature and Varieties of Human Error

  4. Violations and the Varieties of Rule-related Behaviour

  5. Perceptions of Unsafe Acts

  6. Error Traps and Recurrent Accidents

  7. Significant Accident Investigations

  8. Training, Discipline and Leadership

  9. Sheer Unadulterated Professionalism

  10. Skill and Luck

  11. Inspired Improvisations

  12. The Ingredients of Heroic Recovery

  13. Individual and Collective Mindfulness

  14. In Search of Safety