Fear: A Major Barrier to Precursor Management and Serious Accident Prevention Within Your Culture for Safety

In January of 1986, along with my coworkers outside of the Kennedy Space Center Headquarters Building, I watched the Space Shuttle Challenger catastrophe and was brought to tears.  It was an event that I will never forget!  Cues to this national disaster have become increasingly evident with regard to the faulty O-ring design.  Initially, O-ring concerns were not highlighted, but once reported and analyzed, the issues remained largely unabated.  At one point, engineers pushed back with their concerns but senior leaders pushed back as well – “let’s launch,” seemed to be what really mattered!   Eventually, an O-ring “burn through” occurred

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