Facility safety is an important commercial risk and it has to be managed insists the author. Following an accident, the lack of a 'good' safety management system, compounded by a 'poor' safety culture, is a charge often laid on organisations. Accidents can take up to thirty percentage points off annual profits and, often, failure to manage safety has a much larger social cost that can involve fatalities or serious injury to members of the workforce and public. This has been demonstrated in the railway industry, the international atomic energy industry, and through events in the oil exploration and refinery industry. In business terms, the ultimate cost can be receivership.
This book highlights examples ranging from the loss of the Titanic, to Bhopal, and the Tokaimura criticality event. In it the author argues that to minimise risks, any hazardous facility requires robustly engineered safety systems, an effective management system and a developed organisational safety culture. Safety culture is a complex social/scientific concept and the author demystifies it with reference to theory normally associated with mainstream business development and change processes. Sections of the book deal with using safety culture theory as a predictive model, the assessment of safety culture, and how to influence culture change to produce the desired behaviours.