The most experienced people can be too sure of themselves
The most experienced frontline staff are often referred to as experts, a term that comes with a certain degree of prestige. When it comes to accident prevention, the question is not so much whether an expert can make a mistake (error is human), but to identify the situations in which experts are called upon to intervene.
In practice, we turn to an expert when we have tried everything else, when the situation is technically difficult, it could lead to an accident, or is not fully understood.
In his Thoughts on Safety Culture, Denis Besnard advocates that we adopt a questioning attitude with respect to all frontline staff, including the most experienced, and warns of the dangers of over-confidence.
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