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Learning before incidents - What can we learn from understanding variation in performance?
Instead of simply measuring the outcome, modern approaches to safety are increasingly focusing on measuring and learning from variations in normal work directly. Rather than being exceptional events, incidents are a result of having wide variation in performance. Variation in performance is normal, there will always be difference between work as imagined and work as done. Understanding this variation can help us learn before incidents. If we can begin to find ways to measure meaningful variations in performance in our safety critical tasks and activities, then we can complement and enhance our existing approaches to managing safety.