John Allspaw, SVP, Infrastructure and Operations, Etsy
If you design equipment or operating procedures, if you investigate accidents or deal with safety, this is an essential book. Sidney Dekker, a leading world authority on human error; has enhanced his already exceptional Field Guide; to be a concise, readable guide to both design of equipment and procedures and also the analysis of mishaps. The label human error; is misleading and its use prevents discovery and correction of the true underlying causes of incidents. So read about hindsight bias, about the difference between the view from inside the system rather than from outside, and about difference between the blunt end (where you should do your work) and the sharp end (where people tend to focus). Read, learn, and put these ideas into practice. The results will be fewer incidents, less damage, less injury. --Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things
The Third Edition of Sidney Dekker's Field Guide to Understanding Human Error provides a solid practical framework for anyone wanting to make sense of safety science, human factors analysis, and the New View approach to conducting investigations of incidents and accidents. The trademark direct and passionate style that is common in Dekker's work focuses on the circumstances of frontline operators and managers working in complex systems, as well as the challenges of the safety investigator. Dekker does not mince his words; Any human factors investigation that does not take goal conflicts seriously does not take human work seriously and is clearly supportive both of sharp end workers, who are tasked with creating safety in the face of resource constraints in complex systems, as well as the investigators, charged with making sense of events that often seem surprising and unpredictable. Several new topics are introduced and enrich the earlier versions of the Field Guide - for instance the chapter on creating a safety department presents important principles for those with the courage to take on such a daunting task. This will be an invaluable resource for any organization serious about understanding and improving the safety of their operations. --Dr Robert Robson, Principal Advisor, Healthcare System Safety and Accountability, Inc.
When things go wrong in organisations, one thing is almost always found in the post-mortem: human error (in various guises). But one only needs to scratch the surface of system failures to understand that things are not so straightforward. What seems to make sense as a causal catch-all for our everyday slips and blunders snaps when stretched; it fails to explain the context and complexity of our work and systems. There is a better way. In this important book, Sidney Dekker conveys a practical approach for life after human error . It is both humanistic and systemic; it treats people holistically and non-judgementally, while considering system conditions and dynamics in context. If you are prepared to suspend your own preconceptions and reactions to failure this book will repay you with a practical, highly readable and deeply humane approach to dealing with failure. --Steven Shorrock, European Safety Culture Program Leader, EUROCONTROL