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Defining and Establishing a Healthy Safety Culture


Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Time: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: 308 Pasqua Engineering Building

Link to Webcast

Defining and Establishing a Healthy Safety Culture


Mike B. Farrar
Operations Manager
Nuclear Science & Engineering Directorate – ORNL


One definition for culture is a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, principles, and beliefs, within a given environment. All organizations are an assembly of discreet individuals that bring their own set attitudes, values, goals, principles, and beliefs around any number of topics. Safety culture, as an aspect of the organizations culture, is important to any organization that respects its members and believes that all should expect to go home whole at the end of the day. Regarding the nuclear industry, a strong nuclear safety culture is necessary to protect the public and workers from harm as well as protecting the reputation of the industry and multi-billion-dollar assets. It is the job of the leaders within an organization to define and model the values and principles that will lead the organization to success. Leaders must accept that they and all in their organization are human and fallible; even the best make mistakes. By establishing an underlying culture in which self-reporting mistakes and raising concerns is valued, an environment of openness is established that promotes communication of errors made and the situations that led to the error. This allows for mitigating actions to be taken to preclude further similar errors that may eventually lead to an accident. Human performance improvement tools and processes have been developed as an aid in identifying and preventing errors before they happen. Many of these are institutionalized in the nuclear industry, however, there has been a recognition that the best tools processes cannot overcome an underlying culture that values safety lower than other goals.


All students and faculty are invited to attend. UTNE Graduate Students who hold Assistantships or Fellowships are required to attend in person.



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