In safety news:

A new study by the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin focused on why large organizations such as NASA and BP have a tendency to repeat the same operational safety mistakes. Previous research has implied that companies either learn from their mistakes or not. But the authors of this report found that organizations go through cycles of learning and forgetting, a process they call “organizational oscillation.” After a company has experienced a disaster or serious error, firms are pushed toward a focus on safety that pulls them away from other priorities such as efficiency or innovation. Gradually, this safety focus weakens, allowing other focus areas to come to the forefront. If safety is sufficiently neglected, another major accident occurs. Study author and Associate Professor Francisco Polidoro concludes that “organizations can’t operate with their attention focused equally on both safety and non-safety objectives. While safety and profitability, for example, are not mutually exclusive, they do compete.”

Access the study here. Read further coverage on Safety News Alert here.

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