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Face the Facts, Post Truth.

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Old 16th May 2018, 08:50
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Face the Facts, Post Truth.

Another thunderbolt from Sidney Dekker:-

“…‘zero safety’ policy or program actually slightly increase the likelihood of having a serious life-changing accident or fatality.”

“The industry has committed to ‘zero’ for so long already and has had sanctionable rules in place for so long (golden rules, life-saving rules, red rules)—both of which of course put downward pressure on honesty and openness—that it must have felt to the audience as if I’d been swearing in church.”

“Would the industry rather stick with a failed approach, which demonstrably puts their workers at greater risk of dying on the job, simply because committing to zero sounds good and looks good, and because they don’t have the guts to do an about-face? Is this an industry that is so image-conscious that it shies away from safety leadership that is humble, able to acknowledge its own fallibility, and based on facts? Should it not ask in the face of life-saving rule violations, that workers help them understand how work is actually done through honest and open disclosure, rather than firing them or cancelling their site access card? If your workers feel they cannot complete the job without violating one of those rules, I suggested, tell them that you want to hear from them. Tell them that they should tell their supervisor. And if they cannot tell their supervisor, tell the person above the supervisor. And if they cannot tell the person above the supervisor, here’s a global hotline you can call (which none of them have, as yet).”

“…’post-truth.’ It is a condition where facts are less influential in shaping opinion and organizational strategy than emotion, fear, righteous moral conviction and personal beliefs. To adopt post-truth thinking is to ignore Enlightenment ideas, dominant in the West since the 17th century. Enlightenment offers us the basis for fact-based thinking, driven by inquiry, experiment, experience, empirical data and hard research. Enlightenment asks us to embrace the centrality of fact, humility in the face of complexity, the need for study and respect for data.”

“…despite centuries of Enlightenment … the industry both reflects and exploits the post-truth tactics of sloganeering and moral posturing because it sounds so good, and it has been saying it for so long now that it has to be true. What is more, it gets leaders off the hook when something goes wrong. It offers the comfort of blaming the worker for violating rules the industry has imposed and which it has subsequently vacated—both morally and factually. The industry might just feel right at home in our post-truth world.”

http://www.safetydifferently.com/oil...t-truth-world/


Also, see Matthew Syed’s book “Black Box Thinking”, particularly in explaining cognitive dissonance - management behaviour as indicated above. The book covers most HF issues with an easy reading style, and has many examples from a range industries and situations.

However, I would not hold up aviation as such a good example as he appears to do.



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Old 18th May 2018, 07:40
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However, I would not hold up aviation as such a good example as he appears to do.
Aviation overall might well be that way, but do not paint all organisations with the same brush. I know there are certain operators who love collectiing QAR data and beat up any employees discovered infringing internal operating limits. And this unpleasant behaviour is certainly not confined to Asian and Middle East operators. There are others who love to take disciplinary action against staff who they believe have ‘endangered an aircraft’ when it was the staff member who reported their own transgression. If we are not careful we will end up like an African airline whose DFO reported “We are the safest airline in the World. Last year we did not receive a SINGLE ASR!”

But I don’t work for a company that works like this. ASR’s are a measure of how open we are. They combined with QAR data give us the ability to see what happens on line in the real world and support our staff through training for everybody or changes our procedures, not to punish individuals who were only trying to do their job.

The measure of how corrupt an airline is can often be determined by the proximity of the Human Resources and Chief Pilot’s office and the Flight Safety Department. It is often the former who are responsible vile, unpleasant, inhuman and totally corrupt actions taken against staff instigated by data obtained by the latter. The two together are an unholy alliance will create an organisation with deep rooted safety problems that will only be sorted out after a major incident.

But as I said, I’m very pleased I don’t work for a bunch of despots.

PM

ps. I’m also pleased to say Sidney gave us a two day seminar where he preached to the converted.
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