Safety and resilience engineering in Saudi Arabian industries

Sayed, Mohamed (2017) Safety and resilience engineering in Saudi Arabian industries. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Large industrial accidents attract attention due to their catastrophic effects on human lives, economic growth, and the environment. Early studies on accident causations have concluded that 98% of all industrial accidents are preventable, and 88% can be prevented through the enforcement of a proper control system. There have been relentless efforts to develop models of accidents to understand this phenomenon and minimise the catastrophic outcomes of mishap events. These efforts have led to the development of systematic models of accident causations; in which accidents causations are viewed as dynamic processes that interact in a non-linear fashion. One of these systematic models is Resilience Engineering (RE), which takes a holistic view of the organisation and its natural abilities to maintain the system in a dynamically stable state under either stresses or normal operations.

This research attempts to explore safety of industrial corporations by evaluating resilience in the Saudi Arabian process industry. The Saudi Arabia context is
substantially different from the Western cultures where resilience concepts were developed and studied. The rapid expansion of the petroleum industries has had a major impact on the development of the Saudi socio-economic dynamics. The unique national culture dimensions of the Saudi Arabian society (power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and individualism) will help in understanding cultural influences on resilience and safety in general. Therefore, this research is conducted to identify the main contributing factors to resilience in the Saudi Arabian context.

The outcomes of the research help engineers and administrators in industrial organisations to engineer resilient systems that minimize the risks of mishaps and recover quickly to a normal state of operations. The findings support the influence of the national culture in different countries on organisational safety culture, which is extended to individuals’ behaviour towards safety. Evidence has shown that collectivism, on the contrary to the common belief, has a positive impact on both resilience potential and safety culture in the process industry. In addition, the process industry in Saudi Arabia is characterised by resilience of the second type, where there is good ability to respond and monitor but a low ability to learn or anticipate. The main contributing factors to this resilience are: effective communication, information availability, control over work tasks, and dealing with external pressure. Lastly, the findings suggest an association between management commitment to safety and both resilience optimisation and organisational safety culture.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Engineering and Design
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD2350.8 Large industry. Factory system. Big business
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 18 May 2017 10:32
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 10:32

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