Conducting organisational safety reviews: requirements, methods and experience

Teemu Reiman, Carl Rollenhagen, Ulf Kahlbom, Pia Oedewald, Björn Wahlström

Research output: Book/ReportReport


Organizational safety reviews are part of the safety management process of power plants. They are typically performed after major reorganizations, significant incidents or according to specified review programs. Organizational reviews can also be a part of a benchmarking between organizations that aims to improve work practices. Thus, they are important instruments in proactive safety management and safety culture. Most methods that have been used for organizational reviews are based more on practical considerations than a sound scientific theory of how various organizational or technical issues influence safety. Review practices and methods also vary considerably. The objective of this research is to promote understanding on approaches used in organizational safety reviews as well as to initiate discussion on criteria and methods of organizational assessment. The research identified a set of issues that need to be taken into account when planning and conducting organizational safety reviews. Examples of the issues are definition of appropriate criteria for evaluation, the expertise needed in the assessment and the organizational motivation for conducting the assessment. The study indicates that organizational safety assessments involve plenty of issues and situations where choices have to be made regarding what is considered valid information and a balance has to be struck between focus on various organizational phenomena. It is very important that these choices are based on a sound theoretical framework and that these choices can later be evaluated together with the assessment findings. The research concludes that at its best, the organizational safety reviews can be utilised as a source of information concerning the changing vulnerabilities and the actual safety performance of the organization. In order to do this, certain basic organizational phenomena and assessment issues have to be acknowledged and considered. The research concludes with recommendations on issues that should be considered and taken into account as far as is practically applicable in any assessment where organizational safety issues are considered. Finally, further research needs in the area of organizational factors and organizational safety assessment are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRoskilde
PublisherNordic Nuclear Safety Research NKS
Number of pages49
ISBN (Print)978-87-7893-229-7
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesNKS Reports


  • Safety reviews
  • safety culture
  • organizational factors
  • safety management


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