Taking a systems-thinking approach can prevent disasters and save lives

A new book series by well-known academic Dr Simon Bennett will explore the systems-thinking approach to incident and accident investigation.

The series, entitled ‘Systems-thinking for Safety’, reviews national and international disasters such as the Grenfell Tower fire and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, to assess what can be learnt from them.

Dr Bennett, Director of the Civil Safety and Security Unit at the University of Leicester, believes that to prevent disasters occurring you need to learn from the past. That’s why it’s important to consider all aspects of a disaster and how they interlink, as opposed to reviewing issues in isolation. The series explores this holistic approach in detail.

A clear finding from the book is that systems-thinking helps designers create safer systems, preventing death, injury, trauma and financial loss. Disasters are costly. The Grenfell Tower fire killed seventy-one. Japan’s government estimates the cost of the Fukushima clean-up at £142 billion ($180 billion).

Dr Bennett comments: “By revealing the root causes of failure, systems-thinking ensures safer designs and fewer disasters.”

Peter Lang are thrilled to be the publisher of this series, and to welcome the first volume which acts as a kind of manifesto for the rest of the series. We have worked with Simon on his previous book for us, How Pilots Live, which has sold extremely well.

The first book in the series Systems-thinking for Safety was officially published by Peter Lang Publishers on 23 May 2019. Price £25, ISBN 978-1-78874-377-8, from all good bookshops or via the Peter Lang website.