446 pages | 16 B/W Illus.
How are today’s ‘hearts and minds’ programs linked to a late-19th century definition of human factors as people’s moral and mental deficits? What do Heinrich’s ‘unsafe acts’ from the 1930’s have in common with the Swiss cheese model of the early 1990’s? Why was the reinvention of human factors in the 1940’s such an important event in the development of safety thinking? What makes many of our current systems so complex and impervious to Tayloristic safety interventions? ‘Foundations of Safety Science’ covers the origins of major schools of safety thinking, and traces the heritage and interlinkages of the ideas that make up safety science today.
"In his new book Foundations of Safety Science, Sidney Dekker provides an exposition of the science of safety that paves the way for OHS to enhance its recognition as a profession. Taking each decade from the 1900s through to the 2010s he examines the safety theories of the time, how they interact and how they are reflected in practice then and now. In Sidney’s inimitable way he challenges our thinking but this book is different to his other books.
This book, I believe can be a watershed in the development and recognition of safety as a (social) science and as a profession. I encourage all OHS professionals and practitioners, OHS educators and students as well as those involved in OHS policy-making and OHS regulation to read it and then re-read it."
- Pam Pryor AO, OHS Body of Knowledge
"Foundations of Safety Science is more of a textbook and primer written for tertiary students and safety practitioners. Dekker, ever the renaissance man, illustrates key points with his own cartoons."
- OHS Professional Magazine, September 2019 issue
The 1900s and Onward: Beginnings. The 1910s and Onward: Taylor and Proceduralization. The 1920s and Onward: Accident-Prone. The 1930s and Onward: Heinrich and Behavior-Based Safety. The 1940s and Onward: Human Factors and Cognitive Systems Engineering. The 1950s, 1960s and Onward: System Safety. The 1970s and Onward: Man-Made Disasters. The 1980s and Onward: Normal Accidents and High Reliability Organizations. The 1990s and Onward: Swiss Cheese and Safety Management Systems. The 2000s and Onward: Safety Culture. The 2010s and Onward: Resilience Engineering. Postscript.