I used to read a lot more than I do now... sometimes for pure enjoyment, but also for research about my favourite topics (like Root Cause Analysis, of course). Here are some of the books and reports on my root cause bookshelf right now, things I plan to read during the 4th quarter of 2014. I guess I'm in the mood for accident theory and models, and for big books!
Organisational Accidents and Resilient Organisations: Six Perspectives
First up is what I'm expecting to be an excellent report issued by SINTEF in 2010. I'm excited about this one because it's an expanded and updated version of a report from 2004 that I really enjoyed. The big addition to this report appears to focus on Resilience Engineering, a relatively new area of accident research that seems to have garnered a lot of praise and attention... and it sets the stage for the next item on the bookshelf.
Resilience engineering: Concepts and precepts
I actually bought this book (published 2006) a couple of years ago but never got around to reading it. I have high expectations for it though, as the primary author (Erik Hollnagel) has done a lot of very interesting work in the area of cognitive sciences applied to industrial safety and accident theory. Also, this book is supposed to focus a lot on Complexity and how it factors into organizational safety... and it will be interesting to see how it compares and contrasts with the next item.
Engineering a Safer World - Systems Thinking Applied to Safety
I read parts of an early draft of this book (by Nancy Leveson) back in 2004, and it was thought-provoking to say the least. One colleague of mine (vastly more experienced than me at the time) said it was possibly the best new research on systems and safety that he had seen in 20 years. I don't know what happened along the way, but it didn't get published until 2012! One nice thing about it, though, is that you can still download the book for free (although I may buy it just to have it on my physical bookshelf).
Failure in Safety-Critical Systems: A Handbook of Accident and Incident Reporting
If I manage to complete the titles above, I may actually start into this one seriously. It's a long one (over 1000 pages!) from Chris Johnson, who's been doing research in the areas of system safety, accident theory, and investigation methods for many years. I've actually had this on my "read list" forever but have never worked up the nerve to begin. I have skimmed bits of pieces, and the content looks to be excellent... but very technical, and perhaps a little intimidating.
Well that's it. Just 1 report and 3 books for the final 3 months of 2014. I should be able to do that, right? 😀
by Bill Wilson