The critical re-action: Learning from accidents

How do organizations react and learn from accidents? The current paper deals with the justified necessity of acting upon, and learning from accidents. The aim is to discuss organizational dynamics and interplay, evoked and put into (re)action 'after the fact'.

The paper is part of an interview study that was designed to invite individuals to reflect back, and search for patterns in terms of how they interpret the learning impact of an accident, not just in terms of changes within their own organization that can be traced back to accidents, but for the sector as a whole. A presumption for this study was the importance to look at organizational interaction, i.e. how organizations act, affect, and speak with each other. In all 30 people from the rail and marine sector were interviewed with regard to (1) revealed changes in the aftermath of the accident, and (2) conditions for learning from accidents. Thematically, the interviews had two major accidents in Norway as a background theme: The high-speed craft MS Sleipner-accident (1999) and the railway accident at Åsta (2000).

Source : Størseth F, Tinmannsvik RK. Safety Science. 2012; 50(10): 1977-1982. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2011.11.003

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