Mindfulness in Safety Culture : A Multi-level Approach to Improve Performance book cover
1st Edition

Mindfulness in Safety Culture
A Multi-level Approach to Improve Performance

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 25, 2021
ISBN 9780367565022
February 25, 2021 Forthcoming by CRC Press
176 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Hospital and care home deaths, air and rail disasters, tower block blazes, oil rig blowouts, nuclear meltdowns, and road traffic accidents, can all be prevented with a new, multi-dimensional kind of safety. Mindful Safety covers four different levels: the individual, the relational, the organisational, and the societal.

Synthesising the latest thinking from neuroscience and psychology with the practice of mindfulness, this book shows how a much stronger safety culture can be built from the ground up. Case studies, applied research, and practical exercises all demonstrate how attention, and the ability to focus, can significantly boost performance and resilience, whilst reducing human error and the number of safety incidents.

The emphasis on self-care, strengthening relationships, and learning from positives, signals a clear shift in safety management thinking. This is not just an insightful, analytical approach, but an action-based one ready for implementation. Few approaches in the field tackle the subjects of sleep, fatigue, distraction, smartphone addiction, workplace stress, and mental health with the same vigour, or provide the safety toolkit for beating a pandemic.

If you want to create the right mindset to achieve exceptional results in these uncertain times, this book will show you how. It is aimed at professionals in the health and safety industry, as well as graduate students in human factors, ergonomics, industrial engineering, and production engineering.

Table of Contents

Beyond binary thinking
The four levels of mindfulness
Working with the multi-level approach
A note from the author
How to use this book

CHAPTER 1 – Mindful Safety Culture
Case Study: Deepwater Horizon and the absence of safety culture
Safety culture: Content and characteristics
Safety culture in the age of pandemics
Mindful safety culture
Eight key attributes of a mindful safety culture

CHAPTER 2 – Safety in Four Dimensions
Individual mindfulness in action
Relational mindfulness in action
Organisational mindfulness in action
Societal mindfulness in action
Other theories and frameworks
Table of basic differences
Summary of M4 advantages

CHAPTER 3 – New Tools for Incident Investigation
Case Study: Air Florida Flight 90

CHAPTER 4 – Self-care: The Cornerstone of Mindful Safety
The health benefits of mindfulness
Everyday mindfulness and ‘being present’
Trading sleep for leisure time
Digital health
Hijacking your brain

CHAPTER 5 – Fatigue: Safety’s Silent Saboteur
The myth of sleep deprivation
Strategic naps
Fatigue kills
Shift-work and sleepiness
The pursuit of daylight
Noticing fatigue and preventing burnout
Relaxing the mind

CHAPTER 6 – Distracted Minds, Lost Lives
Case Study: The Santiago de Compostela high-speed derailment
Mindfulness for train drivers
Road safety and distractions
Perceptual blindness
Interrupted brains
Tailored M4 training for improved health, wellbeing and safety

CHAPTER 7 - The Mental Health Elephant at Work
Case Study: Mental health lessons from Germanwings 9525
Learning from Germanwings
Workplace stress and mental health
Mindfulness to overcome mental ill health
Stress, mindfulness and choice
Listening: the forgotten skill?
The RAILS model for mental health support

CHAPTER 8 - Cultural Mindlessness: The Ostrich Syndrome
Case Study: The meltdown at Fukushima
Unfollowing the herd
Characterising cultures
Effects of uncertainty avoidance
Made in Japan: Five lessons from Fukushima
Mindfulness in society

CHAPTER 9 - Speaking up to Avoid Catastrophe
Speaking up
Case Study: A failure to listen at Grenfell Tower
The negativity bias and fear
Overcoming the barriers to speaking up
Designing an effective safety reporting system
Confidential reporting to reduce fear

CHAPTER 10 – Mindfully Learning from Positives
Rewiring our brains for positivity
The golden positive to negative ratio
Good relationships and safety
Case Study: The royal wedding
Learning from positive experience
Case Study: Resilience in Hong Kong care homes

CHAPTER 11 - From Blame to Safety Enlightenment
Case Study: The curious incident of the train in the night
The fundamental attribution error
To err is human
Moving from blame to enlightenment

CHAPTER 12 – Mindfulness Training for Improved Safety Performance
ARROWS training
Focusing the mind
Case Study: Mindfulness on London’s buses
Case Study: Mindfulness in Nuclear power
Training for prevention


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Chris Langer is the founder of M4 Initiative, UK and is a leading expert on the application of mindfulness to health and safety. He did his MS degree in Occupational Psychology from the University of Hertfordshire, the UK in 2003. He consults with business leaders and safety professionals to deliver cutting-edge training to teach improved mental focus, concentration, and safety performance. He is a human factors specialist, mindfulness trainer, and frequent contributor to the media.