1st Edition

How Safe is Safe Enough? Leadership, Safety and Risk Management

By Greg Alston Copyright 2003
    128 Pages
    by Routledge

    128 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Safety is not easy, it is a full time effort, and is equally important whether people are on the job or on personal time. If an organization is serious about mission success, it must take 'risk' seriously as well. Leaders need to be involved in the risk game at every turn, and understand the key elements (discussed throughout this book) that help them to win. Winning the risk game is what safety is all about. As in operational success, risk management requires the best human faculties to achieve victory; talent of organizational players and commitment from top leadership rule the day. The book covers leadership, safety programs, and risk management for organizations and individuals. It helps in professional development, grooming current and future leaders to understand their roles in safety and risk management. Central to the author’s message are: Seven truths of safety that the author discovered as a senior safety officer. Four roadblocks to achieving zero mishaps that must be aggressively addressed. Nine elements to risk reduction, with which leaders must become familiar. He establishes the importance of an organizational leader’s role in the safety/risk management game and provides the answer to, ’How safe is safe enough?’ Often, managers at various levels do not have an understanding of what goes into a safety program, this book tells them, from an expert's view. The readership includes: executives and middle management; all leaders as a professional development book and students. It is also a supplemental textbook for safety and risk management courses.

    Contents: Managing risk in an uncertain world; Leading the risk game; Costs of losing the risk game; Universal probabilities; Risk management; System safety: designing out risk; Organizational risk; Personal risk management; The safety program; Change: the way ahead; How safe is safe enough? The answer; Bibliography; Index.


    Col Greg Alston is Deputy Chief of Safety for the US Air Force at the Pentagon, Washington DC. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses since 1988. As fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, he has flown many types from AT-38s to F-117A Stealth Fighter in the US, Europe and Asia. His safety experience began in 1991 as the Chief of Flight Safety Programs in the Pentagon, in Washington D.C. Col Alston was re-assigned in 1999 to become the Director of Safety for the Air Combat Command at Langley AFB, Virginia, overseeing safety activities for approximately 170,000 people and 1700 aircraft, and leading the safety program to all-time lows in mishap rates for two years straight, records that still stand today. His ERAU courses include Aircraft Accident Investigation, System Safety, Aircraft Structural Safety, Safety Program Management, Advanced Aerodynamics, Meteorology, Air Carrier Operations, Organizational Behavior, and Strategic Management. He is on the advisory board for Embry-Riddle's Center for Aerospace Safety Education.

    "It is all extremely competent, well-written and meticulously researched...there is some great material here. For senior managers, there are some handy reminders about leading by example, facing up to problems (instead of walking past them) and implementing organisation-wide programmes and procedures. The point that you’re a leader whether you are the CEO or the team supervisor is well made. There are excellent aide memoires – for instance, the “morning personal risk assessment” checklist on p 38 and the nine-point “winning the risk game” guide on p 106. There are also good summaries of the risk management programmes of major players such as Lockheed Martin, Schlumberger Technology and General Electric."

    Paul Smith MA CFIOSH, former Health and Safety Executive inspector, IOSH Magazine