2011:20 A Guidebook for Evaluating Organizations in the Nuclear Industry – an example of safety culture evaluation

Organizations in the nuclear industry need to maintain an overview on their vulnerabilities and strengths with respect to safety. Systematic periodical self- assessments are necessary to achieve this overview. This guidebook provides suggestions and examples to assist power companies but also external evaluators and regulators in carrying out organizational evaluations.

Organizational evaluation process is divided into five main steps. These are:

  1. planning the evaluation framework and the practicalities of the evaluation process,
  2. selecting data collection methods and conducting the data acquisition,
  3. structuring and analysing the data,
  4. interpreting the findings and
  5. reporting the evaluation results with possible recommendations.

The guidebook emphasises theimportance of a solid background framework when dealing with multifaceted phenomena like organisational activities and system safety. The validity and credibility of the evaluation stem largely from the evaluation team‟s ability to crystallize what they mean by organization and safety when they conduct organisational safety evaluations – and thus, what are the criteria for the evaluation. Another important and often under-considered phase in organizational evaluation is interpretation of the findings.

In this guidebook a safety culture evaluation in a Nordic nuclear power plant is presented as an example of organizational evaluation. With the help of the example, challenges of each step in the organizational evaluation process are described. Suggestions for dealing with them are presented. In the case example, the DISC (Design for Integrated Safety culture) model is used as the evaluation framework. The DISC model describes the criteria for a good safety culture and the organizationalfunctions necessary to develop a good safety culture in the organization.