One of the biggest challenges I have is that safety and improving safety isn’t ‘sexy’ and isn’t that interesting (although when it goes wrong for you, it becomes very ‘interesting’. So the fact that more than 6000 visits have occurred, I must be doing something right, or you are just wondering by…either way, thanks.
Fortunately we have few fatalities in the sport but there are a considerable number of ‘lessons learned’ each day. The depressing thing is that those lessons are not being made available to a wider community because of the culture we live in. I have just reviewed a fatality where there were 120 words provided in a public report and yet there were significant lessons that could be learned if a greater level of detail was able to be shared.
Fatalities pose a challenge because the diver who made the mistakes (for whatever reason) is not with us to explain WHY they took the actions they did. Furthermore, those who were close to the deceased don’t want to damage the reputation or tarnish the memories of their friends. However, the multitude of ‘near misses’ are a different kettle of fish. It is personal reputation and pride that stops us reporting these, and partly because of the response the community invariably provides back with the ‘arm chair divers and analysts’ who were not there, not in the that frame of mind, not in that environment, did not have the same level of risk perception and acceptance. The negative feedback might have something to do with human trait that means if we disassociate ourselves with the person (that couldn’t be me, I’d not do it like that) then the incident won’t happen to me.
As humans we have a tendency to think in linear forms; this happened, caused that and that was the consequence. Life is never that simple, especially when it comes to human decision making in complex environments. Factors which could appear completely unconnected, are in-fact causal when the analysis is completed post-event which is why we need to share the near-miss incidents and understand what happened to put you in that situation, why you made the decisions you did and, most importantly, what you did to get yourself out of the mire.
This presentation https://www.tekna.no/ikbViewer/Content/817242/%281%29%20Erik%20Hollnagel%20ESRA%206%20april.pdf#! explains things in far more detail than I ever could, although I do try to summarise it in my recent round of presentations.
In closing, what good is hindsight if what we supposedly learn there isn’t applied to our own/community’s foresight? One of the ways to improve that foresight is to report – had an incident and think someone else might learn from it, report it to DISMS – Diving Incidents Safety Management System – www.divingincidents.org
Finally, thank you reading this blog. However, as there is always scope for learning, if there is anything that I can do to improve things, or provide more information for you, please do not hesitate to contact me and let me know.