Topic outline

  • Humans are strange “machines” whose errors cause many disasters, but whose actions prevent many more. Safety and risk are themselves relative and subjective human concepts, and not universal attributes as proposed by Physics for example. Understanding the human factors is therefore essential to improving safety and ensuring safety.

    Humans are not just isolated individuals. They make decisions and act within an organisation, whether it is small one, like a team, or huge one, like an international company, an industrial sector or a country. Furthermore, the organisation itself is an entity that drives many decisions. The organisational context of these decisions and actions influences the effectiveness and efficiency of safety. Understanding organisational factors is the second objective of this module.

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