Establishing a Safety Culture
There are many aspects, both organizationally and operationally, to establishing a safety culture
in facilities involving hazardous operations. The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO)
Excellence in Human Performance Initiative 2001 (Ref. k) identified the key principles in
developing an appropriate safety culture to improve human performance. Excellence in human
performance is more likely when both workers and managers embrace the following principles:
a. People are fallible, and even well trained and experienced staff can make mistakes
b. Error-likely situations are predictable, manageable, and avoidable
c. Individual behavior is influenced by organizational processes and values
d. People achieve high levels of performance based largely on the encouragement and
reinforcement received from their leaders, peers, and subordinates
e. Most accidents can be avoided by understanding the reasons mistakes occur and
applying the lessons learned from past events
Some of the INPO recommendations that are most relevant to dependable implementation of
a. Communicate expectations and work plans accurately and frequently. When work
processes are changing daily, job briefings and use of repeat backs are encouraged.
b. Inform coworkers, supervisors, and managers when there is a potential problem with
performing a task. Perform post-job critiques to identify process improvements.
c. Anticipate error-likely situations. Most hazardous activities require both the worker and
the backup/supervisor to understand the work process.
d. Verify instructions, equipment, location, and time constraints.
e. Focus attention on the task. Think through the steps and key decision points of a task
Expect success, but anticipate failure. Routinely ask "what if."
g. Take the time to do the job right.
h. Make sure schedules do not interfere with safety.
Follow approved procedures with a sense of caution.
Stop the task and collaborate with others when unfamiliar or unanticipated conditions