Sunday, June 12, 2005

Behavior Based Safety at NASA

Sometimes a news story comes close enough to public health to justify BrooklynDodger posting it to the science site. Hidden in the NY Times article on a NASA shakeup was:

NASA has also canceled a consulting contract with a company hired to improve what the board investigating the Columbia shuttle disaster called the "broken safety culture" in which managers played down risks and squelched dissent. The company, Behavioral Science Technology, based in Ojai, Calif., conducted more than 300 surveys in NASA's centers and led behavioral training.

Mr. Mirelson said that the company had served its purpose and "the input has been, obviously, invaluable," but that future efforts would be within NASA. The company did not return calls seeking comment.

Many NASA employees have said the training is unhelpful. In an interview in April, Dr. Charles J. Camarda, an astronaut who will fly in the mission of the shuttle Discovery, called it "charm school" and said such efforts "are not going to change the culture."

The BST website will probably still list NASA as a client. Maybe they should take down BP Amoco, after the Texas City catastrophe.

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