The focus of this book will be on 'risks' and how to manage them. The word 'risk' has for many readers a 'safety' related connotation, but in fact the word risk can be related to a much wider range of business upsets, from security problems and pollutions to financial 'disasters' like...
The focus of this book will be on 'risks' and how to manage them. The word 'risk' has for many readers a 'safety' related connotation, but in fact the word risk can be related to a much wider range of business upsets, from security problems and pollutions to financial 'disasters' like the WorldCom and Enron financial scandais. The 'default' reaction of the media after a business upset is almost always 'The cause is human error' and there is a cry for actions taken against the 'guilty individual'. The main aim of this book is to show that it is in fact the 'working environment' that should be managed and that uncontrolled déviations from an organisation^ business process are the real target for improvement. Preventing business upsets is the key to preventing accidents, health problems and environmental spills as well as a whole range of other 'unwanted disturbances' such as property loss, financial loss, security breaches and poor relations with the community. Safety is used as an example because, historically, the tooi described in this book was intended as a way to control the human factor in accidents. During the more than 15 years of research and field-testing this scope has however been extended from 'safety' to 'managing the business process'. The first édition of this book was published in 1992 as a thesis and in this fifth édition many changes have been introduced to get the text in line with the most recent developments in business management and the Tripod theory and tools developed at Leiden and Manchester University. The philosophy and tools described in it have been through a considérable transformation since 1986. From a research project investigating ways of preventing human error initiated by Shell, the project resulted into an instrument that is now applied in a wide range of companies and organisations.
Application of the tooi presented in this book is not without pitfalls. Strict pre-conditions are necessary to ensure a valid inventory of the strong and weak points of an organisation. The criteria for a valid measurement are presented in Chapter 8. It is now possible to compare scores between (parts of) organisations, compare them with the rest of the industry (benchmarking) and to measure progress over time. The instrument can be used to evaluate how effective an organisation handles the control of the human error component. In Chapter 10 a first attempt is made to link safety not only to the quality of how management runs the organisation, but also to the measure of health: both problems have the same causes and differ only in appearance.