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author

Alex Fergusson
Karen Vilas

published on

October 2019

This paper focuses on the consideration of an unbiased approach to assessing risk to push the industry towards proactively addressing risk rather than reactively allowing cognitive biases to drive process safety culture and personnel risk management solutions. Scientifically proven to affect the way we process and interpret the world around us, cognitive biases allow us to shortcut the complexities of the world when making decisions. In some cases, biases can be surprisingly accurate, while in other instances they can lead to making poor judgements and decisions based on the limited information available to us. Specifically damaging in the process safety industry are the availability heuristic and the confirmation bias, which together cause us to focus on information that comes to mind quickly, justifies our opinions, and favors our existing beliefs.

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