In investigating accidents, most professionals determine that many of the reasons why they occur is due to human error. However, research shows that most accidents occur due to a failure in systems rather than people (Reason, 1990). This CQ Dossier describes how the utilization of a systems approach can reduce workplace accidents.
This CQ Dossier focuses on what constitutes an effective safety climate and how to improve workplace safety in general. Recent disasters such as the Grenfell Tower Fire incident illustrate the importance of safety in the work environment. At the Grenfell Tower, people escaped using a single staircase and while more than 65 people were rescued, an estimated 71 people died and countless others were injured. We draw on theory and research to describe how organizational practices can increase the level of workplace safety.
How can organizations effectively use High Reliability Teams to promote safety? High Reliability Teams have the ability to promote safety through task-relevant knowledge, high levels of communication, and adapting to the environment. Such teams are effective, social in nature and feature team members with high task interdependency and shared, common values. High Reliability Teams can promote safety at the workplace.
High Reliability Teams (HRTs) use particular methods and share values that enable an effective safety climate. This Dossier draws on theory and research on HRTs and provides a series of broad recommendations that enable the implementation of policies for a strong safety climate within organizations.