• Workplace Fatalities - Failure to Predict

  • A New Safety Discussion on Fatality and Serious Event Reduction
  • By: Todd E. Conklin PhD
  • Narrated by: Todd Conklin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Many organizations tell us that work has never been as safe as it is today. They will show the lowest injury figures ever and the rosiest incident counts in years. They want to be proud of these accomplishments, and perhaps they should be. But behind these results hide complexity and contradiction - a messiness that Todd Conklin takes us into with this audiobook. For one, it is pretty obvious by now that trying to lower our incident and injury rates leaves the risk of process safety disasters and fatalities pretty much unaffected. Getting better at managing injuries and incidents doesn’t help us prevent fatalities and accidents - we’ve known that for a long time (Salminen, Saari, Saarela, & Rasanen, 1992).

The number of fatalities in, say, construction or the energy industry has remained relatively stable over the past decades (Amalberti, 2013; National Safety Council, 2004), even when many organizations proudly report entire years (or more) without injury. Lowering the injury or non-serious incident rate can actually put an organization at greater risk of accidents and fatalities.

In shipping, for example, injury counts were halved over a recent decade, but the number of shipping accidents tripled (Storkersen, Antonsen, & Kongsvik, 2016). In construction, most workers lost their lives precisely in the years with the lowest injury counts (Saloniemi & Oksanen, 1998). And in aviation, airlines with the fewest incidents have the highest passenger mortality risk (Barnett & Wang, 2000). What lies behind these fatalities?

Do they really happen because some people don’t wear their personal protective equipment - that some don’t wear gloves when rules say they should? Workplace Fatalities: Failure to Predict is the first book for the industry professional that speaks directly to this important challenge: If your organization is so safe, why do we have fatal and serious events?

©2017 Todd Conklin, PhD (P)2019 Todd Conklin, PhD

What listeners say about Workplace Fatalities - Failure to Predict

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an amazing read

the lessons in this book apply to more than just safe work places. we must always plan to fail if we're ever really want to be successful.

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A Must Read

A must read by everyone who is responsible for the safety and well being of an employee group. As a full time accident investigator who has had to investigate a number of workplace fatalities, the information presented in this book could not ring more true. I’m grateful for Dr. Conklin’s work as it has advanced my knowledge and understanding of what safety is and isn’t immensely.

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  • Nancy
  • 06-23-19

Makes sense of safety!

This book has not only helped me to understand why we carry on about safety in organisations such ridiculous ways, but has given me practical areas of focus to achieve a more balanced and effective approach to safety through my own role. The logic is also transferable to other types of risk analysis. The case studies were helpful, the care & compassion of the author immense & the nuances & assumptions behind many safety concepts were unpacked in a way that I can explain them to others (to show how our thinking must change). Thanks to the author - this book is critical.

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  • Alexandra Hare
  • 09-30-21

Good read for H&S practitioners

Thought provoking. Gives new plausible explanations to why and how H&S systems have failed when incidents have resulted in fatalities. This is important because as Conklin says...going harder and stronger with the older system that is in place, but which has already failed, isn't going to work [paraphrased]

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  • laurie
  • 08-07-21

Insightful

This book encourages critical thought on the way we go about looking at the management of the workplace and challenges the common held ideas around elimination being the only option and proposes that recovery / failing safely is possibly a better Avenue to remove the potential of fatal events in the workplace

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  • Michael H
  • 07-11-20

Good ideas, poorly explained

This is a valuable book for those in health and safety, the ideas are important. I felt the examples and the way this was explained could have been stronger.

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  • Anthony John Cartwright
  • 08-02-19

An excellent read

Thanks Todd. One of the things about your book that I loved were the practical, lives examples to demonstrate your points, something that is mostly missed by publications of this type. You’ve also allowed me to crystallise some thoughts about risk assessment processes that I’ve been contemplating for some time. It’s going to be a ready reference for some time. Thank you again.