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RR899 - High reliability organisations - A review of the literature

A number of major hazard organisations have been attempting to influence the organisational and safety culture at their sites to transform them into a high reliability organisation (ie organisations that are able to manage and sustain almost error-free performance despite operating in hazardous conditions where the consequences of errors could be catastrophic) with a positive safety culture. In recent years there has been a huge increase in the literature talking about the control of major hazard risks, in particular the philosophies of high reliability organisations, resilience management and safety culture. These works identify key features and characteristics that need to be adopted by organisations to achieve ongoing high reliability and safety objectives.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2011-11-24