SAFE07036 2019 Human and Organisational Safety Factors

General Details

Full Title
Human and Organisational Safety Factors
Transcript Title
Human and Organisational Safet
N/A %
Subject Area
SAFE - Safety Studies
ESCI - Environmental Science
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Edel Costello, John Crummy
Programme Membership
SG_SOCCU_J07 201900 Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health

This module will examine how safety performance can be influenced and improved through the application of behavioural science knowledge and techniques at individual, organisational and job levels. Reviewing relevant research into human factors and its role in safety management will be undertaken.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Identify the range of dimensions to organisational culture and the interactions between management, teams and individuals.


Examine the links between organisational culture, safety culture and safety climate


Explore the framework models for measuring safety culture maturity


Examine and discuss the links between human & organisational factors during accident causation.


Examine concepts of human factors in the design of safer workplaces; and identify best practice in human & organisational factors for safety management

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered part-time.

This module will be delivered using blended learning techniques.

This will include online lectures (via adobe connect or similar), workshops and may include site visits, augmented by independent learning and directed learning.

This approach is expected to address student-learning needs.

Moodle will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals).

The online delivery will be blended with workshops to bring the learners together to facilitate group learning.

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 50% Continuous Assessment and 50% Final Exam

2 x Moodle Quizzes (MCQ's) (10%): shall take place (towards the middle and end of semester)

Workshop Assignment (10%): Students work in groups to develop solutions to prescribed workplace H&S issues through enquiry based learning.

Individual research report assignment (30%): Examining & discussing the links between human & organisational factors during accident causation and will be submitted via Moodle towards the end of the semester.

Final exam (50%) at end of term.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessment and/or Final Exam

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

1. Identify the range of dimensions to organisational culture and the interactions between management, teams and individuals.

  • Historical background - Development of Industrial Psychology / Work Psychology. Context and relevance of Industrial Psychology.
  • Identify the range of influences on Organisational Culture and the types of culture.

2. Examine the links between organisational culture, safety culture and safety climate

  • Examine the nature of Safety Culture and links between it and Organisational Culture

3. Explore the framework models for measuring safety culture maturity

  • Review safety culture maturity models and frameworks

4. Examine and discuss the links between human & organisational factors during accident causation.

  • Perception: Basic theories of Perception, Motivation, Behaviour and how it influences groups and individuals in workplaces

5. Examine concepts of human factors in the design of safer workplaces; and identify best practice in human & organisational factors for safety management

  • Introduction into Human Factors
  • Management of  Environment, task and individual
  • Reports, case studies, journals, articles, etc 

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
50 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
50 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 MCQ's x 2 Continuous Assessment Multiple Choice 10 % OnGoing 1,2,3,5
2 Workshop Assignment: Students work in groups to develop solutions to prescribed workplace H&S issues through enquiry based learning Continuous Assessment Group Project 10 % OnGoing 4
3 Research Assignment: Examining & discussing the links between human & organisational factors during accident causation Continuous Assessment Assignment 30 % OnGoing 4

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 50 % End of Term 1,2,3,5

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Online Lecture Not Specified Lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Directed Learning Not Specified Directed learning 0.85 Weekly 0.85
Group Learning Flat Classroom Workshop 2.5 Once Per Semester 0.17
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent learning 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.02 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2019 Health and Safety
ISBN 1138349283 ISBN-13 9781138349285

Health and Safety: Risk Management is the clearest and most comprehensive book on risk management available today. This newly revised fifth edition takes into account new developments in legislation, standards and good practice. ISO 45001, the international health and safety management system standard, is given comprehensive treatment, and the latest ISO 9004 and ISO 19011 have also been addressed. The book is divided into four main parts. Part 1.1 begins with a basic introduction to the techniques of health and safety risk management and continues with a description of ISO 45001. Part 1.2 covers basic human factors including how the sense organs work and the psychology of the individual. Part 2.1 deals with more advanced techniques of risk management including advanced incident investigation, audit and risk assessment, and Part 2.2 covers a range of advanced human factors topics including human error and decision making. This authoritative treatment of health and safety risk management is essential reading for both students working towards degrees, diplomas and postgraduate or vocational qualifications, and experienced health and safety professionals, who will find it invaluable as a reference.

Recommended Reading
2014-06-23 Safety Differently CRC Press
ISBN 9781482242003 ISBN-13 1482242001

The second edition of a bestseller, Safety Differently: Human Factors for a New Era is a complete update of Ten Questions About Human Error: A New View of Human Factors and System Safety. Today, the unrelenting pace of technology change and growth of complexity calls for a different kind of safety thinking. Automation and new technologies have resulted in new roles, decisions, and vulnerabilities whilst practitioners are also faced with new levels of complexity, adaptation, and constraints. It is becoming increasingly apparent that conventional approaches to safety and human factors are not equipped to cope with these challenges and that a new era in safety is necessary. In addition to new material covering changes in the field during the past decade, the book takes a new approach to discussing safety. The previous edition looked critically at the answers human factors would typically provide and compared/contrasted them with current research and insights at that time. The edition explains how to turn safety from a bureaucratic accountability back into an ethical responsibility for those who do our dangerous work, and how to embrace the human factor not as a problem to control, but as a solution to harness. See Whats in the New Edition: New approach reflects changes in the field Updated coverage of system safety and technology changes Latest human factors/ergonomics research applicable to safety Organizations, companies, and industries are faced with new demands and pressures resulting from the dynamics and nature of the modern marketplace and from the development and introduction of new technologies. This new era calls for a different kind of safety thinking, a thinking that sees people as the source of diversity, insight, creativity, and wisdom about safety, not as the source of risk that undermines an otherwise safe system. It calls for a kind of thinking that is quicker to trust people and mistrust bureaucracy, and that is more committed to actually preventing harm than to looking good. This book takes a forward-looking and assertively progressive view that prepares you to resolve current safety issues in any field.

Recommended Reading
2013-09-13 Safety Culture: An Innovative Leadership Approach Butterworth-Heinemann
ISBN 0123964962 ISBN-13 9780123964960

Current safety and risk management guidelines necessitate that organizations develop and formally manage their understanding and knowledge of the standards and protocols of risk management. The impact of communication and human performance on the identification and control of hazards and associated risk must be addressed in a structured manner. This core reference provides a complete guide to creating a comprehensive and effective safety culture.

Safety Culture is a reference for safety and risk professionals and a training text for corporate-based learners and students at university level. The book will keep safety and risk management professionals up-to-date and will provide the tools needed to develop consistent and effective organizational safety protocols.

  • How to develop a foundation to improve the perception of safety, analyze the organizational culture and its impact on the safety management system, and review the importance of developing a influential network
  • Provides a format for establishing goals and objectives, discusses the impact of leadership on the safety management system and the roles and responsibilities needed as well as methods to gain employee participation
  • Tools to enhance the safety management system, the education and training of employees, how to assess the current safety management system, and the process of curation is introduced

Recommended Reading
2013-09-01 Strategic Safety Culture Roadmap
ISBN 0984203915 ISBN-13 9780984203918

The Strategic Safety Culture Roadmap is based on the results of major Process Safety disasters. It offers practical strategies with accompanying tools and methods to address the issues raised. A must have for those wanting to improve their company's safety culture, reduce unwanted incidents and maximize profitability.

Recommended Reading
2013-11-01 A Life in Error Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 9781472418418 ISBN-13 1472418417

This succinct but absorbing book covers the main way stations on James Reasons 40-year journey in pursuit of the nature and varieties of human error. He presents an engrossing and very personal perspective, offering the reader exceptional insights, wisdom and wit as only James Reason can. A Life in Error charts the development of his seminal and hugely influential work from its original focus on individual cognitive psychology through the broadening of scope to embrace social, organizational and systemic issues.

Recommended Reading
2011 Occupational Health and Safety Gower Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 0566089831 ISBN-13 9780566089831

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that every year there are 2.2 million fatal and 270 million non-fatal accidents or occupational diseases worldwide. Occupational Health and Safety looks at the research into what causes accidents and errors in the workplace. Emphasizing the psychological and behavioural aspects of risk in organizations, it includes case studies and best practices. The contributors to this volume come from various countries, reflecting unique interest and knowledge in particular areas.

Recommended Reading
2010-11-01 Safety Culture (Psychological and Behavioural Aspects of Risk) Gower
ISBN 1409401278 ISBN-13 9781409401278

Facility safety is an important commercial risk and it has to be managed insists John Taylor in "Safety Culture". Following an accident, the lack of a 'good' safety management system, compounded by a 'poor' safety culture, is a charge often laid on organisations. Accidents can take up to thirty percentage points off annual profits and, often, failure to manage safety has a much larger social cost that can involve fatalities or serious injury to members of the workforce and public. This has been starkly demonstrated in the railway industry, the international atomic energy industry, and through events in the oil exploration and refinery industry. In business terms, the ultimate cost can be receivership. "Safety Culture" highlights examples ranging from the loss of the Titanic, to Bhopal, and the Tokaimura criticality event. In it Dr. Taylor argues that to minimise risks, any hazardous facility requires robustly engineered safety systems, an effective management system and a developed organisational safety culture. Safety culture is a complex social/scientific concept and Dr. Taylor demystifies it with reference to theory normally associated with mainstream business development and change processes. Sections of the book deal with using safety culture theory as a predictive model, the assessment of safety culture, and how to influence culture change to produce the desired behaviours. This is a practically focused book from an author with vast experience at the top level of high hazard industries, he brings together current academic thinking on the concept of safety culture and provides authoritative practical guidance for operational executives, managers and for students in science, safety technology and engineering disciplines.

Recommended Reading
2009 Safety Culture Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 0754676951 ISBN-13 9780754676959

The aim of this book is to show how a cultural approach can contribute to the assessment, description and improvement of safety conditions in organizations. The relationship between organizational culture and safety, epitomized through the concept of 'safety culture', has undoubtedly become one of the hottest topics of both safety research and practical efforts to improve safety. By combining a general framework and five research projects, the author explores and further develops the theoretical, methodological and practical basis of the study of safety culture. What are the theoretical foundations of a cultural approach to safety? How can the relationship between organizational culture and safety be empirically investigated? What are the links between organizational culture and safety in actual organizations? How can a cultural approach contribute to the improvement of safety? These are the key questions the book seeks to answer with a unified and in-depth account of the concept of safety culture.

Recommended Reading
2008-01-24 Improvements in System Safety: Proceedings of the Sixteenth Safety-critical Systems Symposium, Bristol, UK, 5-7 February 2008 (Safety-Critical Systems Club) Springer
ISBN 1848000995 ISBN-13 9781848000995

This book contains the full complement of papers presented at the sixteenth annual Safety-critical Systems Symposium, held at Bristol, UK, in February 2008. The Symposium is for engineers, managers and academics in the field of safety, across all industry sectors, and so the papers included offer a wide-ranging coverage of major safety issues as well as a good blend of academic research and industrial experience. They include discussions of some of the most recent developments.

Recommended Reading
2008 The Human Contribution Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 0754674002 ISBN-13 9780754674009

The Human Contribution is vital reading for all professionals in high-consequence environments and for managers of any complex system. The book draws its illustrative material from a wide variety of hazardous domains, with the emphasis on healthcare reflecting the author's focus on patient safety over the last decade. All students of human factors - however seasoned - will also find it an invaluable and thought-provoking read.

Recommended Reading
2008 Health and Safety Routledge
ISBN 0901357413 ISBN-13 9780901357410

Health and Safety: risk management is the clearest and most comprehensive book on risk management available today. The fully revised and redesigned third edition incorporates the latest developments in legislation, best practice, British Standards and qualification syllabuses. This authoritative treatment of risk management is essential reading for students working towards degrees, diplomas and post graduate or vocational qualifications in health and safety. Experienced health and safety professionals and managers with health and safety responsibilities will find it invaluable as a desk reference.

Recommended Reading
2007-01-01 Advances in Organisational Psychology
ISBN 1875378790 ISBN-13 9781875378791

This book presents an impressive array of contemporary topics in industrial and organisational psychology from the Asia Pacific region With edited contributions drawn from the very best of material showcased originally at the 2005 conference.

Recommended Reading
2007 Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology SAGE
ISBN 9781412924702 ISBN-13 1412924707

With more than 400 entries, the Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology presents a thorough overview of the cross-disciplinary field of industrial and organizational psychology for students, researchers, and professionals in the areas of psychology, business, management, and human resources. In two volumes, readers are provided with state-of-the-art research and ready-to-use facts.

Recommended Reading
2004-09-10 Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace Financal Times Management
ISBN 0273655442 ISBN-13 9780273655442

The aim of this established text is to examine the contribution of psychological theory to our understanding of human behavior at work. Its accessible and user-friendly style makes it suitable for readers unfamiliar to the theory of work psychology as well as for those with a basic grounding in the subject.

The text covers both personnel issues such as selection and training and organizational issues such as decision making, thus making it a comprehensive study of human behavior in the workplace. Throughout the text, real-life examples and illustrations are used to support the theory, to show how the concepts dealt with actually apply to work settings.

Contents include: Chapter 1 Work psychology -- an initial orientation, Chapter 2 Theory research and practice in work psychology, Chapter 3 Individual differences, Chapter 4 The foundations of personnel selection- analyzing jobs, competencies and selection effectiveness, Chapter 5 Personnel selection and assessment processes methods- what works?, Chapter 6 Assessing people at work, Chapter 7 Attitudes at work, Chapter 8 The analysis and modification of work behavior, Chapter 9 Approaches to work motivation and job design, Chapter 10 Training, Chapter 11 Stress in the workplace, Chapter 12 Decisions, groups and teams at work, Chapter 13 Leadership, Chapter 14 Careers and career management, Chapter 15 Understanding organizational change and culture, Glossary, References.

Recommended Reading
2003 Managing Maintenance Error Ashgate Pub Limited
ISBN 0754615901 ISBN-13 9780754615903

A down-to-earth practitioner's guide to managing maintenance error dealing with risks, human performance problems - their understanding and solution and creating a safety culture; for all in maintenance-critical environments.

Recommended Reading
2002-03-01 Industrial/organizational Psychology Houghton Mifflin College Division
ISBN 0395964210 ISBN-13 9780395964217

This student-friendly textbook, written by a leading researcher at one of the nation's top I/O programs, is unique in its emphasis on how I/O psychologists are trained; its social/contextual approach to performance appraisal; and the strength of its pedagogy, including "practitioner forums." This edition features full integration of changes and events that are currently taking place in today's work environments. Industrial/Organizational Psychology focuses on the psychology of the workforce, employee health and well-being, organizational behavior, motivation, human resources, and various dynamics of work interaction. Levy's book has been well received by reviewers for its applied approach and for the author's personal, direct, and casual tone, which sets it apart in the field.

Recommended Reading
2000-04-28 The Management of Safety SAGE
ISBN 9780761966128 ISBN-13 0761966129

The challenge to improve safety at work remains a key concern of many organizations, as traditional approaches to safety in organizations have not had the anticipated impact of reducing accident rates at work. As the authors of this new book show, the existing methods of attempting to enhance safe performance have very limited efficacy. The Management of Safety reviews the main theories underlying safety management and their application to developing safe behaviour, and provides an introduction to the new behaviour-based approach to safety management and quality improvement. Throughout the text, useful examples and illustrations are included to show the need for this new approach. This book should be

Recommended Reading
1998-01-01 Improving Safety Culture Wiley
ISBN 0471958212 ISBN-13 9780471958215

The aim of this book is to provide safety practitioners with sufficient knowledge and practical guidance to enable them to improve the safety culture within an organization. Provides practical guidance for safety practitioners.

Recommended Reading
1997 Managing the risks of organizational accidents Ashgate Publishing
ISBN UOM:39015040046412

Major accidents are rare events due to the many barriers, safeguards and defences developed by modern technologies. But they continue to happen with saddening regularity and their human and financial consequences are all too often unacceptably catastrophic. One of the challenges facing the next millennium is to develop more effective ways of both understanding and limiting their occurrence.This lucid book presents a set of common principles to further our knowledge of the causes of major accidents in a wide variety of high technology systems. It also describes tools and techniques for managing the risks of such organizational accidents that go beyond those currently available to system managers and safety professionals.The Author deals comprehensively with the prevention of major accidents arising from human and organizational causes. He argues that the same general principles and management techniques are appropriate for many different domains. These include banks and insurance companies just as much as nuclear power plants, oil exploration and production companies, chemical process installations and air, sea and rail transport.Its unique combination of principles and practicalities make this book essential reading for those people whose daily business is to manage, audit and regulate hazardous technologies of all kinds. It is relevant to those concerned with understanding and controlling human and organizational factors and will also interest academic readers and those working in industrial and government agencies.

Recommended Reading
1996 The World of Work McGraw-Hill Humanities, Social Sciences & World Languages
ISBN 1561341851 ISBN-13 9781561341856

[This book] provides comprehensive coverage of the basic principles of I/O psychology. [The author] uses a research-based approach and makes the theoretical concepts of the subject accessible to students by applying theory in everyday familiar examples. [The text] emphasizes the global scope of today's marketplace, and research and practices associated with the Western industrialized countries as well as with the Far East are discussed. The text features four sections, the main focus being on personnel (micro) and organizational (macro) psychology. In addition, [the author] broadens the scope of this offering to include ergonomics and consumer psychology, both of which stem from and deal with the needs and concerns of people. -Back cover.

Recommended Reading
1990-10-26 Human Error Cambridge University Press
ISBN 0521314194 ISBN-13 9780521314190

This 1991 book is a major theoretical integration of several previously isolated literatures looking at human error in major accidents.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Tony Boyle (2019) Health and Safety: Risk Management 5th Ed Routledge

Sidney Dekker (2014) Safety Differently: Human Factors for a New Era CRC Press.

James Roughton (2013). Safety Culture: An Innovative Leadership Approach. Butterworth-Heinemann

Dominic Cooper, Lucas Finley (2013) Strategic Safety Culture Roadmap BSMS Incorporated

Professor James Reason (2013) A Life in Error: from Little Slips to Big Disasters Ashgate Publishing Ltd

Ronald J. Burke, Sharon Clarke, Cary L. Cooper (2011) Occupational Health and Safety - Psychological and Behavioural Aspects of Risk Gower Publishing Ltd.

John Bernard Taylor (2010) Safety Culture (Psychological and Behavioural Aspects of Risk) Gower

Stian Antonsen (2009) Safety Culture Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

Tony Boyle (2008) Health and Safety: Risk Management 3rd Ed IOSH

J. T. Reason (2008) The Human Contribution: Unsafe Acts, Accidents & Heroic Recoveries Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

Ian Glendon, Briony Thompson, Brett Myors (2007) Advances in Organisational Psychology Australian Academic Press

Steven G. Rogelberg (2007) Encyclopedia of Industrial and Organizational Psychology SAGE

Joanne Silvester (2004) Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace Financal Times Management

J. T. Reason, Alan Hobbs (2003) Managing Maintenance Error Ashgate Pub Limited

Paul E. Levy (2002) Industrial/organizational Psychology Houghton Mifflin College Division

Valerie Sutherland, Peter John Makin, Charles Cox (2000) The Management of Safety: The behavioural approach to changing organisations SAGE

Dominic Cooper (1998) Improving Safety Culture: A Practical Guide Wiley

J. T. Reason (1997) Managing the risks of organizational accidents Ashgate Publishing

Alan Auerbach (1996) The World of Work: An Introduction to Industrial Organisational Psychology. McGraw-Hill

James Reason (1990) Human Error Cambridge University Press

Class Materials: Reports, Case Studies,  Journal Articles, etc

Journal Resources

The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Journal of Safety Research

Professional Safety Journal

URL Resources

Other Resources

Students will be given access to handouts, relevant reports and research reports on the moodle page for this module.

Additional Information