Resilience Engineering in Practice: A Guidebook (Hardback) book cover

Resilience Engineering in Practice

A Guidebook

© 2010 – Ashgate

362 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9781409410355
pub: 2010-12-28
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About the Book

Resilience engineering has since 2004 attracted widespread interest from industry as well as academia. Practitioners from various fields, such as aviation and air traffic management, patient safety, off-shore exploration and production, have quickly realised the potential of resilience engineering and have became early adopters. The continued development of resilience engineering has focused on four abilities that are essential for resilience. These are the ability a) to respond to what happens, b) to monitor critical developments, c) to anticipate future threats and opportunities, and d) to learn from past experience - successes as well as failures. Working with the four abilities provides a structured way of analysing problems and issues, as well as of proposing practical solutions (concepts, tools, and methods). This book is divided into four main sections which describe issues relating to each of the four abilities. The chapters in each section emphasise practical ways of engineering resilience and feature case studies and real applications. The text is written to be easily accessible for readers who are more interested in solutions than in research, but will also be of interest to the latter group.


'Although risk management has brought greater safety to socio-technical systems, a new approach is still strongly needed. Erik Hollnagel's excellent book offers the right approach; that resilient behaviour by people leads to stable systems. Those searching for a more profound understanding of system safety must read this book as it is a practical guide to this new approach.' Akinori Komatsubara, Waseda University, Japan 'With crises abounding, the concept of resilience is more relevant than ever. Manifold examples from a variety of high-risk industries provide insights into the four basic requirements for resilience: responding, monitoring, anticipating, and learning. Tools are presented that support the assessment of these requirements as well as their promotion, be it by training emergency management, handling fatigue of system operators, supporting preventive maintenance, providing better rules for managing conflicting goals, or improving incident reporting. The book, by Erik Hollnagel and his colleagues, will be a great resource for system designers and decision-makers in organizations in their endeavours to keep the uncertainties and complexities of our world at bay.' Gudela Grote, ETH Zürich, Switzerland '“Be prepared to be unprepared.� How do you do that? By absorbing the evocative data, nuanced terminology, sustained guidance, and broad applications summarized here. Resilience is about more than engineering as becomes clear in these descriptions of the actual, critical, potential, and factual events that unfold when “disturbances fall outside the operational envelope.� Resilience engineering is a hot topic. Here is the one book that shows you why!' Karl E. Weick, University of Michigan, USA 'The book is very practical in the sense that only relevant and significant theories or frameworks are discussed followed by extensive descriptions of the situations on the field. Solution-seekers are the group of readers who will benefit the most from reading the book. The book will also be a significant reference for researchers, particularly those interested in closing the gap between theories and practices of engineering resilience.' Human Factors & Ergonomics Society European Chapter Newsletter June 2011

About the Originator

Erik Hollnagel (Ph.D., psychology) is Professor and Industrial Safety Chair at École des Mines de Paris (France), Professor Emeritus at University of Linköping (Sweden), and Visiting Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim (Norway). He has since 1971 worked at universities, research centres, and industries in several countries and with problems from several domains, including nuclear power generation, aerospace and aviation, air traffic management, software engineering, healthcare, and land-based traffic. His professional interests include industrial safety, resilience engineering, accident investigation, cognitive systems engineering and cognitive ergonomics. He has published more than 250 papers and authored or edited 17 books, some of the most recent titles being The ETTO Principle (Ashgate, 2009), Resilience Engineering Perspectives: Preparation and Restoration (Ashgate, 2009), Resilience Engineering Perspectives: Remaining Sensitive to the Possibility of Failure (Ashgate, 2008), Resilience Engineering: Concepts and Precepts (Ashgate, 2006), and Barriers and Accident Prevention (Ashgate, 2004). Erik Hollnagel is Editor-in-chief of Ashgate Studies in Resilience Engineering and, together with Pietro C. Cacciabue, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Cognition, Technology & Work. Jean Pariès graduated from the French National School of Civil Aviation as an engineer, then joined the DGAC for several positions dealing with air safety regulations. He was a member of the ICAO Human Factors & Flight Safety Study Group since its creation in 1988. In 1990, he joined the Bureau Enquêtes Accident as Deputy Head, and Head of Investigations, where he led the technical investigation into the Mont Saint-Odile air accident, 1992. In 1994, Jean left the BEA to be a founding member - and now the CEO - of Dédale SA. Set in Paris and Melbourne (Australia), Dédale activity focuses on the Human and Organisational dimensions of safety, for aviation as well as for nuclear, railway, hospital, road, and maritime operations. Jean is a member of the Resilience Engineering core group, and the author of numerous papers, book chapters and communications on Human Factors in safety. He holds a Commercial Pilot Licence with Instrument, Multi-engines, Turboprop, and Instructor ratings and a Helicopter Private Pilot Licence. David D. Woods (Purdue '79) is professor at Ohio State University, Institute for Ergonomics, and Past-President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. From his initial work following the TMI accident in nuclear power, to studies of coordination breakdowns between people and automation in aviation accidents, to his role in today's debates about patient safety, he has studied how human and team cognition contributes to success and failure in complex, high risk systems. He was on the board of the National Patient Safety Foundation from its founding until 2002 and Associate Director of the Veterans Health Administration's Midwest Center for Inquiry on Patient Safety (1999-2002). He is author of Behind Human Error, received the Jack A. Kraft Innovator Award from Human Factors and Ergonomic Society for advancing Cognitive Engineering and its application to safer systems, and received a Laurels Award from Aviation Week and Space Technology (1995) on the human factors of highly automated cockpits. He currently serves on a National Academy of Engineering / Institute of Medicine Study Panel applying engineering to improve health care systems and on a National Research Council panel on research to define the future of the national air transportation system. John Wreathall is a specialist in systems-engineering methods with particular emphasis on human and organizational performance as it relates to safety, reliability and quality. He has pioneered the development and application of human-performance analysis methods, both quantitative and qualitative, for application in the medical, transportation, nuclear, and aerospace communities. He has participated in the development of the understanding of human errors and the circumstances that lead to their occurrence, including chairing and presenting at international conferences on this subject sponsored by NATO, the World Bank, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He has been an invited participant to the three International Symposia on Resilience Engineering, in Soderköping (Sweden) and Juan-les-Pins (France), and co-chair of the 2005 International Seminar on Resilience Engineering and Cognitive Systems, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). He was the invited keynote speaker on the subject of resilience engineering at the First Mercosur (South American Free Trade Association) Conference on Safety and Security in Work and its Environment, Porto Alegre (Brazil) in 2004.

About the Series

Ashgate Studies in Resilience Engineering

Ashgate Studies in Resilience Engineering
Resilience engineering has become a recognized alternative to traditional approaches to safety management. Whereas these have focused on risks and failures as the result of a degradation of normal performance, resilience engineering sees failures and successes as two sides of the same coin - as different outcomes of how people and organizations cope with a complex, underspecified and therefore partly unpredictable environment. Normal performance requires people and organizations at all times to adjust their activities to meet the current conditions of the workplace, by trading-off efficiency and thoroughness and by making sacrificing decisions. But because information, resources and time are always finite such adjustments will be approximate and consequently performance is variable. Under normal conditions this is of little consequence, but every now and then - and sometimes with a disturbing regularity - the performance variability may combine in unexpected ways and give rise to unwanted outcomes. The Ashgate Studies in Resilience Engineering series promulgates new methods, principles and experiences that can complement established safety management approaches. It provides invaluable insights and guidance for practitioners and researchers alike in all safety-critical domains. While the Studies pertain to all complex systems they are of particular interest to high-hazard sectors such as aviation, ground transportation, the military, energy production and distribution, and healthcare.

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