Special characteristics of safety critical organizations: Work psychological perspective

Pia Oedewald, Teemu Reiman

Research output: Book/ReportReport

3 Citations (Scopus)


This book deals with organizations that operate in high hazard industries, such as the nuclear power, aviation, oil and chemical industry organizations. The society puts a great strain on these organizations to rigorously manage the risks inherent in the technology they use and the products they produce. In this book, an organizational psychology view is taken to analyse what are the typical challenges of daily work in these environments. The analysis is based on a literature review about human and organizational factors in safety critical industries, and on the interviews of Finnish safety experts and safety managers from four different companies. In addition to this, personnel interviews conducted in the Finnish nuclear power plants are utilised. The authors suggest eight themes that arise as common organizational challenges across the industries, e.g. how the personnel understands the risks and what the role of rules and procedures in guiding the work activities is. The primary aim of this book is to contribute to the nuclear safety research and safety management discussion. However, the book is equally suitable for risk management, organizational development and human resources management specialists in different industries. The purpose is to encourage readers to consider how the human and organizational factors are seen in the field they work in.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages126
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7006-5
ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7005-8
Publication statusPublished - 2007
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Publications


  • operational safety
  • safety management
  • human safety
  • environmental safety
  • safety-critical organizations
  • decisionmaking
  • nuclear power plants
  • aviation industry
  • chemical industry
  • oil refining industry


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