A Life in Error

A Life in Error : From Little Slips to Big Disasters

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This succinct but absorbing book covers the main way stations on James Reason's 40-year journey in pursuit of the nature and varieties of human error. In it he presents an engrossing and very personal perspective, offering the reader exceptional insights, wisdom and wit as only James Reason can. The journey begins with a bizarre absent-minded action slip committed by Professor Reason in the early 1970s-putting cat food into the teapot-and continues up to the present day, conveying his unique perceptions into a variety of major accidents that have shaped his thinking about unsafe acts and latent conditions. A Life in Error charts the development of his seminal and hugely influential work from its original focus into individual cognitive psychology through the broadening of scope to embrace social, organizational and systemic issues. The voyage recounted is both hugely entertaining and educational, imparting a real sense of how James Reason's ground-breaking theories changed the way we think about human error, and why he is held in such esteem around the world wherever humans interact with technological systems. This book is essential reading for students, academics and safety professionals of all kinds who are interested in avoiding breakdowns that can cause serious damage to people, assets and the environment.

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  • Paperback | 100 pages
  • 136 x 214 x 12mm | 240g
  • Ashgate Publishing Group
  • Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • AldershotUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • Includes 2 b&w illustrations
  • 1472418417
  • 9781472418418
  • 114,825

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'This book is an authoritative reminder of the journey to gain acceptance of human error as intrinsic to open systems operations as we enjoy it today, portrayed by the witty pen of one of its topmost trailblazers. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and found the segment on organizational accidents a particular gem.'Daniel E. Maurino, formerly Coordinator of the Flight Safety and Human Factors Study Programme, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 'This book is intended for students, academics and safety professionals of all kinds who are interested in avoiding breakdowns that can cause serious damage to people, assets and the environment. It can also be read as a highly entertaining, personal journey through his professional life.' The RoSPA Occupational Safety & Health Journal, December 2013 A simplified version of the theories that have been the basis of his career, A Life will be especially valuable to operational personnel whose jobs bear on safety, without specializing in it. Such readers could range from top-floor executives to frontline workers. Even specialists who are familiar with most of the content should appreciate the book's concision, smooth flow and glimpses into its author's personality.' Aerosafetyworld, February 2014 'This is a lovely book. James Reason has spent more than 40 years exploring errors and this short and well written book traces his interest and where it has led. It starts with a foreword by Erik Hollnagel, another eminent writer on error and industrial safety, and then a preface in which the author sets the scene.' Australian & New Zealand Journal of Health, Safety and Environment, vol. 30, no. 2

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About James Reason

James Reason was Professor of Psychology at the University of Manchester from 1977 until 2001, from where he graduated in 1962. He has written books on motion sickness, absent-mindedness, human error, aviation human factors, managing the risks of organisational accidents, managing maintenance errors, and the human contribution: unsafe acts, accidents and heroic recoveries. He has worked in a wide variety of hazardous industries, though patient safety is now his primary concern. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary DSc by the University of Aberdeen. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Royal Aeronautical Society, the British Academy and the Royal College of General Practitioners. He received a CBE in 2003 for his services to reducing the risks in health care. In 2010, he received an Award for Distinguished Service from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and in 2011 was elected an honorary fellow of the Safety and Reliability Society.

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