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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2013

How learning from experience fails to be productive: common pitfalls


Learning from experiences is one, if not the main pillar of modern safety approaches. On micro level, in work organizations, learning from experience (LFE) may help to improve concrete safety practices. On macro level, learning from experience and important accident investigations were the starting point of new concepts in safety approaches. However, learning from experience faces a number of obstacles. Because even with the presence of LFE process in most organizations, the same accidents unfortunately still happen. Failure of a LFE process is either directly at the moment when integrated in the organization or it slowly dies after several years of use. Because the process is not generalized in the organization or the success expected isn't present. In this article, we present a series of common pitfalls that cause learning from experience to fail to be productive. Firstly, a general model of conception, implementation and exploitation of a learning from experience process is presented. In the second part, based on literature and illustrated with research results with industrial partners, the most important obstacles are identified, with an emphasis on social, organizational or cultural factors. In the third part, we propose some recommendations for implementing and driving successfully a LFE process in an organization. In perspective, the identification of those common pitfalls can help an organization willing to develop a successful LFE tool or process. An organization with an already functional LFE process can proceed to a diagnostic of the performance of the learning capacity of his organization regarding safety by checking his LFE process.
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Dates et versions

hal-00915165 , version 1 (06-12-2013)


  • HAL Id : hal-00915165 , version 1


Wim van Wassenhove, Jean-Luc Wybo. How learning from experience fails to be productive: common pitfalls. 45th ESReDA Seminar - Dynamic Learning from Incidents and Accidents, Bridging the Gap between Safety Recommendations and Learning, Oct 2013, Porto, Portugal. ⟨hal-00915165⟩
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