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Learning Failures As the Ultimate Root Causes of Accidents

  • Nicolas Dechy
  • Yves Dien
  • Eric Marsden
  • Jean-Marie Rousseau
Chapter

Abstract

Drawing on their ample experience in high-risk industries, the authors show that a number of major accidents have been preceded by warnings raised by people who attempted, unsuccessfully, to alert actors who had the ability to prevent a danger they perceived. The authors demonstrate that, very often, the dissenting opinions and whistleblowers were not heard due to cultures in which bad news was not welcome, criticism was frowned upon, or where a “shoot the messenger” attitude prevailed. Instead, performance pressures push systems in the direction of failure and lead organizations to reduce their safety margins. As a result, a “new normal” is established, and no significant problems are noticed until it is too late.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Dechy
    • 1
  • Yves Dien
    • 2
  • Eric Marsden
    • 3
  • Jean-Marie Rousseau
    • 1
  1. 1.Fontenay-aux-RosesFrance
  2. 2.ParisFrance
  3. 3.ToulouseFrance

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