Course title: 
Safety Culture
Primary programme: 
Fizikus mérnök BSc
ECTS credits: 
Course type: 
Number of lectures per week: 
Number of practices per week: 
Number of laboratory exercises per week: 
Further knowledge transfer methods: 
case studies
Coursework grade
Special grading methods: 
written test
Responsible lecturer: 
Dr. Márta Juhász, associate professor, PhD, habil.
Lecturers and instructors: 
Course description: 
As technology advances, organizations have to operate increasingly complex systems that require competences that one person would be unable to possess, so the importance of teamwork has increased. Increasing complexity can lead to an increasing number of failure modes. We would like to present two approaches: the traditional view is that technical systems are fundamentally safe, with various risks introduced by unreliable human behaviour, while the more modern view is that technical systems are fundamentally unsafe, with safety being built and maintained continuously through purposeful human effort at the managerial, organizational, team and individual levels (Dekker, 2014). During the course, we will analyse the characteristics of safety culture at 3 levels through the presentation of several case studies, such as the Tenerife accident in 1977; the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident in 1979; the Bhopal chemical plant explosion and subsequent mass poisoning disaster in 1984; the tragic accident of the Challenger spacecraft in 1986; explosion of a unit at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, 1986; capsizing of the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987; devastating fire at King's Cross station on the London Underground; explosion of the Piper Alpha oil rig in the North Sea in 1988; Hillsborough stadium disaster in Sheffield in 1989. Individual level: the role of the individual in the safety culture. Characteristics of a safety-conscious and rule-following individual. Group level: characteristics of teams working in a high-risk work environment, introduction to teamwork through team processes such as communication, coordination and leadership. Typical communication processes in teamwork. Organisational level: characteristics of organisational culture, the "JustCulture" approach. Levels of safety awareness in the organisation, with emphasis on the role of management and leaders.
Reading materials: 
Dekker, S. (2002). The Field Guide to Human Error Investigations. ISBN-13:978-0754619246 Baram, M., & Schoebel, M. (2007). Safety culture and behavioral change at the workplace. Safety Science, 6(45), 631-636. Salas, E., Bisbey, T. M., Traylor, A. M., & Rosen, M. A. (2019). Can Teamwork Promote Safety in Organizations? Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 7(1).doi:10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-012119-045411
List of competences: 
Please find the detailed list, as quoted from the Hungarian training and outcome requirements of the Physicist Engineer program, in the Hungarian version of the course description.