24 books for safety managers to read before you die

Books are a superb way to learn and this is no different for safety managers. Even though we often recommend training your skills from multiple disciplines, for safety managers a deep dive into safety topics can make a huge difference to both improve your organisation’s safety performance and your personal career advancement. Here are 24 books to add to your reading list:

"The Goal" by Eliyahu M. Goldratt
This book, which has been widely regarded as a classic in the field of safety management, uses the story of a struggling plant manager to explore the principles of the Theory of Constraints, a management approach that focuses on maximizing efficiency and effectiveness.
"Safety Differently" by Sidney Dekker
In this book, Dekker challenges traditional safety management approaches and argues for a new approach that focuses on understanding and learning from human error rather than simply trying to prevent it.
"Safety-I and Safety-II: The Past and Future of Safety Management" by Erik Hollnagel 
The book provides insights into the future of safety management and the role of technology in enabling a more effective and efficient approach to safety.
"The Checklist Manifesto" by Atul Gawande
In this book, Gawande explores the benefits of using checklists as a tool for improving safety and reducing errors in various fields, including healthcare and aviation.
"Leadership and the New Science" by Margaret Wheatley
This book explores the principles of complexity science and how they can be applied to leadership and organizational change, including in the field of safety management.
"The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively" by Helio Fred Garcia
This book explores the role of effective communication in building trust and inspiring loyalty, which are crucial for creating a positive safety culture in the workplace.
"Reliability, Maintainability and Risk: Practical Methods for Engineers" by David J. Smith
This book has equipped reliability and safety engineers with tactics to reduce defects and failures in process design and operation. It offers beginners guidance on avoiding common mistakes in this extensive field and provides experts with fresh perspectives through detailed, realistic case studies and examples.
"A Field Guide to Safety Professional Practice" by David Provan
A collection of Dr. David Provan's 20 years of global safety management experience and doctoral study on the role of a safety professional. The book guides readers through the five fundamental abilities and 20 key competencies required for safety professionals to effectively enhance workplace safety within their organization, regardless of their position.
"Managing the Risks of Organizational Accidents" by James Reason
This book explores the role of insurance in managing industrial risks and offers practical guidance for selecting and managing insurance coverage for businesses.
"The Human Contribution: Unsafe Acts, Accidents and Heroic Recoveries" by James Reason
The book examines how humans play a role in ensuring the dependability and ability to bounce back of intricate, well-protected systems. Typically, humans are viewed as a threat - a component of the system responsible for most major failures due to their careless actions.
"Lean Behavior-Based Safety: BBS for Today's Realitites" by Shawn M. Galloway and Terry L. Mathis
This book explores the role of behavior in safety and offers practical strategies for using behavior-based safety techniques to improve safety in the workplace.
"A Culture of Safety: Building a work environment where people can think, collaborate and innovate" by Alla Weinberg
This book explores the principles of high-reliability organizations and offers practical strategies for building a culture of safety in the workplace. 

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"The Safety Professional's Handbook" by Joel M. Haight 
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the role of safety professionals and explores the various tools and techniques used to ensure safety in the workplace.
"The Safety Mindset" by Mr. Matthew J. Cowell
This book explores the role of mindset in safety and offers practical strategies for developing a safety mindset in the workplace.
"Black Box Thinking: The Surprising Truth About Success" by Matthew Syed
This book explores the concept of black box thinking, which is the idea of using failures as opportunities for learning and improvement, and how it can be applied to various fields, including safety management.
"Drift into Failure: From Hunting Broken Components to Understanding Complex Systems" by Sidney Dekker
This book explores the concept of drift into failure, which is the idea that complex systems can drift into failure gradually over time, and offers practical strategies for avoiding and mitigating such failures.
"Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe" by Greg Ip
This book explores the idea that safety can sometimes be dangerous and how danger can actually make us safer, and offers practical strategies for managing risk and improving safety.
"The Failure of Risk Management: Why It's Broken and How to Fix It" by Douglas Hubbard
This book explores the common failures of risk management and offers practical strategies for improving risk management practices.
"Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives" by Tim Harford
This book explores the concept of messiness and how it can be harnessed as a positive force for change, including in the field of safety management.
"Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen" by Chip Heath
This book explores the idea of solving problems upstream, or before they happen, and offers practical strategies for doing so.
"The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons" by Scott Sagan
This book explores the concept of the limits of safety and how organizations can manage risks and prevent accidents.
"The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations" by Dietrich Dorner
This book explores the common errors that people make in complex situations and offers practical strategies for avoiding and mitigating such errors.
"Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies" by Charles Perrow
This book explores the concept of normal accidents, which are accidents that are inherent in complex systems, and offers practical strategies for managing risk and preventing accidents.
"Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology" by James R. Chiles
This book explores the role of technology in disasters and offers practical strategies for improving safety and preventing disasters. 


Never stop learning. If you come up with books that we missed from the list, let us know and even more than that, let's have a chat why you saw that book to be a great resource for safety.

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