A study of experience feedback from reported unwanted occurrences in a construction company
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSafety Science. 2018, 107 46-54. 10.1016/j.ssci.2018.03.028
An interview study in a major Norwegian construction company was conducted to analyse learning from reports of unwanted occurrences (RUO). Systems for reporting unwanted occurrences are on of the most important tools in systematic safety management to ensure efficient experience feedback that will improve safety performance. The interview study identifies two major obstacles to efficient learning from reports of unwanted occurrences (1) under-reporting at the sharp end, and (2) reports are not analysed and applied to improve the safety performance. The reasons for under-reporting are the same as those identified in previously published studies on under-reporting, with one exception. The interviews show that many workers are flexible and choose to correct the situation right there and without documenting the occurrences in order to perform both effective as well as safe work. It is paradoxical that those at the sharp end prefer to put things right and continue the work in a safer manner without spending time reporting, at the same time as the HSE management wants all unwanted occurrences to be documented for learning purposes. A root cause for the identified obstacles is a conflicting objective between production and safety.