There is a high potential for catastrophic failures in the complex, sociotechnical, and highly dynamic processes of high-risk industries. Yet, catastrophes are avoided on a daily basis due to processes and procedures working correctly. And even when errors do occur, the likelihood of a catastrophic failure due to cascading errors is extremely remote. That’s the good news.
Now the bad news. When cascading errors do occur, with little or no mitigation, the probability of a catastrophic event becomes more likely. Catastrophes are typically the end stage of a series of failures that may have been latent in the system for a long period of time, perhaps years. In many cases, accident precursors can be traced all the way back to poor management decisions at the highest levels of the organization.
Some notable (and very preventable) industrial accidents over the last decades have included:
- Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Meltdown
- Union Carbide Chemical Plant Gas Leak
- NASA Challenger Space Shuttle Explosion
- Exxon Valdez Oil Tanker Spill
- Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Capsize
- Herald of Free Enterprise Ferry Capsize
- Alvia Train Derailment
- Piper Alpha Oil Rig Explosion
- Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Blowout
TACG has extensive experience and a deep understanding of safety culture because aviation is one of the highest-risk industries in the world. Our solutions, which are customizable and adaptable to specific industries, are available to organizations that are interested in developing, improving, or measuring their safety culture. We hope you find the resources on this page useful, and we look forward to becoming your safety culture and High-Reliability Organization (HRO) consulting partner!