What About a Bit of Praise?

What About a Bit of Praise?

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In our business of incident investigation, we are very concerned about accountability, responsibility, a ‘just culture’, and the old chestnuts of ‘fault’ and ‘blame’. But, how often do we consider the opposite: ‘praise’? Not for getting something wrong, but for getting it right. A fundamental problem in the workplace is ensuring the right behaviours are sustained and improved over time. …

Aircrash

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Similar Events At TOP-SET, one of our categories of ‘Indicators’ when investigating, is ‘Similar Events’. This week we saw the news reports on the tragic crash and loss of life on the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302. News sources, quite rightly, are drawing parallels with the Lion Air Crash last October. At this stage, until full investigations have been conducted, it …

Communication – The Problem?

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‘The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’ George Bernard Shaw Underpinning every difficulty or problem is poor communication in one form or another. Language, cultural or gender differences aside, a multitude of blocks combine to distort communication, create misunderstandings and even conflict. It is one of the hardest things to get inside the …

Upcoming Event – Business Breakfast, Aberdeen

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Oil and Gas Industry Safety: Preventing Accidents Through Better Communication Serious incidents in an offshore environment are never caused by a single factor, but communication breakdowns are almost always at their heart. How can this be the case in an industry known for its educated, highly skilled and dedicated workforce? This briefing will look at the reasons and explore how …

What Makes a Good Investigation Leader

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If you are heading up an incident investigation, no doubt you are already in a leadership role. You will have reached that position because you meet the brief of what makes a good leader. But when it comes to leading an investigation, the qualities required are slightly different. Tight control of the situation and an understanding of your team are …

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Message Received…

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…or was it? Communication is at the heart of every aspect of our lives. We only have to consider our own domestic lives; we cannot exist functionally without talking to our family and friends, but unless you are very unique, this frequently results in miscommunications. Applying the same thoughts to workplaces and safety critical situations, we can see how integral …

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Report Writing: The Deadly Bullet Point

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When it comes to writing an incident investigation report, there is one important factor that is crucial in conveying the right information so that recommendations can be enacted. It’s all about communication, communication, communication. Or should that be: communication communication communication 1.1 The bullet point was hardly ever used until Microsoft got its teeth into the issue and developed the …

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Culture and Disease Model – The Glasgow Experience

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The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, says he may adopt a ‘public health’ model to tackle violent crime. What does he mean? He is espousing the notion that violent behaviour is a kind of epidemic that spreads from person to person, infecting and reproducing itself. It has long been apparent that this is indeed how behaviours spread, whether in schools, prisons …

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Interviewing – Four Paths to Failure

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We at TOP-SET are in a very strong position to comment on the skills of interviewing for investigation, not because we are all expert interviewers, but because our tutors role-play on many of our courses to give students interview practice. Consequently, we are at the raw end of very many interviews and have learned through experience the best techniques to …

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Genoa Bridge Disaster

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The major motorway bridge collapse in Genoa, killing 43 people and injuring many others on the 14th of August, prompted some thoughts about human factors and construction failures. Over the centuries, bridges, cathedrals and buildings of every sort have fallen down, sadly in most cases with significant loss of life. However, many ancient buildings, such as some of the Roman aqueducts, …