Safety Culture and High-Reliability Organization (HRO) Consulting 

For All High-Risk Industries!




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!



Industries We Serve







Aerospace/Sub-Orbital/Space Operations












Offshore Oil Operations







Meet Your Consultant

Dr. Bob Baron
TACG President/Chief Consultant
Full bio

TACG President and Chief Consultant Dr. Bob Baron has been involved in aviation since 1988, with extensive experience as a pilot, educator, and aviation safety advocate. Unlike some other "safety consultants," Dr. Baron has the time-tested qualifications and experience to assist aviation organizations on a global basis. This includes a Ph.D degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (the things safety culture and SMS are built on), as well as degrees in Aeronautical Science (Specializations in Human Factors and Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems) and Professional Aeronautics (Minor in Aviation/Aerospace Safety).

As an Organizational Psychologist with extensive, practical experience in aviation, you can rest assured that you are making the right choice when selecting an organizational/change management consultant who can make demonstrable and measurable changes in your organization's safety culture.

It is important to understand that making paradigmatic culture changes can be very difficult, if not impossible, to do internally. The use of an external, objective, unbiased consultant is critical in the measurement and guidance needed to make demonstrable changes in an organization's safety culture.



  • Safety Culture presentations for conferences, symposia, safety stand-downs, etc.
  • Safety Culture Webinars
  • Safety Culture Development
  • Safety Culture Training
  • High-Reliability Organization (HRO) Consulting 
  • Organizational Coaching
  • Change Management
  • Risk/Hazard Analysis 
  • Safety Audits (safety culture focus)
  • Safety Culture Assessments/Surveys


Other Services
Development, Implementation, and Training.
Adaptable and Customizable for Other High-Risk Industries.





Process Safety Culture Workshop


What Is Safety Culture?

"Safety culture can be defined as the enduring value and priority placed on worker and public safety by everyone in every group at every level of an organization. It refers to the extent to which individuals and groups will commit to personal responsibility for safety; act to preserve, enhance, and communicate safety concerns; strive to actively learn, adapt, and modify (both individual and organizational) behavior based on lessons learned from mistakes; and be rewarded in a manner consistent with these values" (Zhang, Wiegmann, von Thaden, Gunjan, & Mitchell).



What Is A Just Culture?

"A Just Culture promotes an atmosphere of trust in which people are encouraged (even rewarded) for providing essential safety-related information, but where a distinction is made between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. A Just Culture is a way of safety thinking that promotes a questioning attitude, is resistant to complacency, is committed to excellence, and fosters both personal accountability and corporate self-regulation in safety matters" (Reason).  

A Just Culture promotes safety by acknowledging "to err is human." Errors will always occur. But, some errors should not be addressed by retribution, when in fact the system itself might be flawed. However, a clear line must be drawn which differentiates between what is common everyday human error versus flagrant or willful violations that could, and should, be dealt with in a punitive manner.



What Is A High-Reliability Organization?

"HRO describes a subset of hazardous organizations that enjoy a high level of safety over long periods of time. What distinguishes types of high-risk systems is the source of risk, whether it is the technical or social factors that the system must control, or whether the environment, itself, constantly changes. This latter can be controversial to observers as environments change within a range of expected extremes. It is the surprise of the change, its unexpected presentation that influences the level of reliability. The coupling between technology and people creates the socio-technical system" (Weick & Sutcliffe).

Four organizational characteristics of the HRO limit accidents or failures:

  • Prioritization of both safety and performance, and shared goals across the organization
  • A “culture” of reliability (or, better, attitude toward reliability) that simultaneously decentralizes and centralizes operations allowing authority decisions to migrate toward lower ranking members
  • A learning organization that uses “trial-and-error” learning to change for the better following accidents, incidents, and, most importantly, near misses
  • A strategy of redundancy beyond technology, but in behaviors such as one person stepping in when a task needs completion

An HRO is an organization that has succeeded in avoiding catastrophes in an environment where normal accidents can be expected due to risk factors and complexity.

There are Five Characteristics of an HRO:

  • Preoccupation with failure
  • Reluctance to simplify interpretations
  • Sensitivity to operations
  • Commitment to resilience
  • Deference to expertise



Let's discuss your safety culture with a free initial consultation!