Episode 2 – Blame the Operator

DisasterCast Episode 2 – Blame the Operator
Performance shaping factors, BA 5390, Replacing humans.

When an accident happens, humans are always at the heart of the story. The first characters we see are the victims – broken bodies, distraught families, dazed survivors. As the narrative grows, we hear about the heroes – the rescue workers running toward the danger, the pilot who performed a miracle, the quick thinking console operator who stopped things being much worse. But you can’t make a good story just with damsels in distress and knights in shining armour. We want to know why disaster struck, and too often, we confuse finding an explanation, with finding someone to blame.

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Episode 1 – Hindenburg, Safety Jargon and Rogue Planets

DisasterCast is a podcast about system safety and risk management. Each episode contains three segments, one of which is a description of a major accident. The accident for this episode is the crash and fire which destroyed the Hindenburg.

Since this is the first episode, it includes a section on the language used to discuss safety, including defining some of the terms which we use to talk about accidents and risk.

The episode finishes with a piece about rogue planets, and how to think about very remote, very high consequence risks.

Transcript

The episode transcript can be found here.

Hindenburg Resources

  1. German Accident Investigation Report.
  2. Commerce Department Investigation Report.
  3. The radio broadcast by Herb Morrison.

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