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Oops! Why Things Go Wrong (Paperback)

Understanding and Controlling Error

Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Leadership & Crisis Management

Imprint: Liffey Press
Pages: 312
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781739789268
Published: 13th June 2023



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In this ground-breaking book, Niall Downey – a cardio-thoracic surgeon who retrained to become a commercial airline pilot – uses his expertise in medicine and aviation to explore the critical issue of managing human error. With further examples from business, politics, sport, technology, the civil service and other fields, Downey makes a powerful case that by following some clear guidelines any organisation can greatly reduce the incidence and impact of human error.


While acknowledging that in our fast-paced world getting things wrong is impossible to avoid completely, Downey offers a strategy based on current best practice that can make a massive difference. He concludes with an easy to use, aviation-style Safety Management System that can be hugely helpful in avoiding preventable catastrophes in organizations of all kinds.


An acknowledged expert in error management, Niall Downey advises governments, major corporations and the health industry on how to develop a systemic approach to controlling for human imperfection. Arguing that prevention is far preferable to denying responsibility after the fact, he gave an influential TEDx talk outlining how healthcare could use aviation's experience to reduce tragic outcomes and improve patient safety.


Oops! Why Things Go Wrong seeks to understand and navigate error. It shows how we have become particularly vulnerable to blunders due to new technologies and today’s pressurised work environments. But it also shows how we can fight back against our own inherent fallibility to live in a safer and less error-strewn world.


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