"Safety from Within is primarily written for managers. Still, as far as I am concerned, the book is equally recommended for safety professionals. The text is accessible with suggestions for further depth here and there. [...] Pleasant. Recommended, also to give to your manager."
This is Rob Kreté's debut. This 118-page booklet is beautifully designed and is distinguished from most other books by its "cross-sectional" format. It contains Kreté's argument about how safety can be designed in a better way. This is based on his own experiences
what works and what doesn't. In chapter 1 he talks about his personal experience of running and at one point shutting down a site due to safety issues. That makes quite an impression. And it was the reason for Kreté to dive further into safety.
As far as the message is concerned, I see a strong relationship with Martin van Staverens work on Risk Leadership and my own Safety Myths 1-2-3 (if you want reading tips to look further, here). But where I primarily focused on safety professionals, Safety from Within is primarily written for managers. Still, as far as I am concerned, the book is equally recommended for safety professionals. The text is pleasantly accessible, with suggestions for further exploration here and there.
The only downside for me are the source references. We find these partly throughout the text, partly as footnotes. Perhaps it would have been an idea to collect them in a short bibliography at the end, for those who want to read more. Suggestion for a second edition?
As the title says, Kreté argues that safety can best be driven by intrinsic motivation. And another important lesson is that safety should not be a sideline, but an integral part of business operations. Optimally with the great involvement of all groups, under the leadership of the line and with the safety professional in a leading role (Kreté states: “Away with the HSE manager!”).
Despite the limited size of the booklet, the author touches on a wide variety of topics. What is Safety? Leadership. Involvement. Indicators. Accident investigation. Systems thinking. Behaviour. Conflicting objectives, including the tension between safety and production (tribute for including Rasmussen's model!). Risk. Personality and safety (something that I'm a little sceptical about). Culture (with a pleasantly critical and nuanced approach). Communication. Training. New visions of Safety.
Incidentally, none of this as a "do it such and such" instruction, but as something to think about (here and there the text is provided with so-called “flip thinkers”). To find a way of safety that works better, not driven by a management system that "must", but by guidance, leadership and exemplary behaviour.
Nice. Recommended, also to give to your manager.
September 2020 no. 3
Read the article here (in Dutch):