How Does "Deviation" Become "Normal"?

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 28, 2015
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Intermediate
  • PDHs:
    0.50

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How does "deviation" become "normal"?

How does deviation from established safe practices become institutionalized within an organization?  Conducting day-to-day and routine operations in a manner inconsistent with documented policies, procedures, and practices can lead to failure to appropriately identify and manage hazards.  A continued tolerance for "getting the job done" when the methods used do not follow established instructions can lead to the normalization of deviation, especially when employees are rewarded for taking initiative.  Deviations can occur in both engineering and operations tasks.  Resource constraints and aggressive project schedules can lead to an inability for subject matter experts to properly review deliverables and designs.  Emphasis on innovation and productivity can lead to new and creative ways to get the job done that may not address all of the hazards associated with a given task.  Failure to acknowledge change can result in bypassing the Management of Change system and its associated safety reviews.  This paper will present examples of deviations that have occurred due to resource constraints, human factors, and failure to acknowledge change.

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