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Safety Culture in Focus at a Regional Meeting hosted by Chile

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Participants conduct an exercise during an IAEA-organized meeting held in March 2019 in Santiago de Chile to promotie safety culture. (R.C.Suarez/IAEA) 

Participants from 14 Caribbean and Latin American countries whose work involve nuclear or other radioactive material strengthened their ability to use analysis of radiological and other accidents to strengthen safety culture during a recent IAEA-organized meeting in Santiago de Chile.

The 18 to 22 March meeting promoted the application of the provisions established in the IAEA General Safety Requirements on Leadership and Management for Safety (GSR Part 2). This document highlights the importance of human and organisational factors, including behaviours of individuals or organizations.

At the meeting, co-organized by the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN), experts presented safety culture concepts and highlighted elements to be considered by organizations and individuals involved in the use of ionizing radiation sources in medicine, industry, research and teaching.  

The meeting also included interactive group presentations and discussions based on the  IAEA safety standards, including the Fundamental Safety Principles, the General Safety Requirements on Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards (GSR Part 3) and the Safety Guide on Occupational radiation Protection (GSG-7).  A forthcoming IAEA Technical Document on safety culture in organizations, facilities and activities that use radiation sources, prepared by the Ibero-American Forum of Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Agencies (FORO), was also discussed. 

In working group sessions, 28 participants considered 15 case studies addressing radiological, nuclear, industrial and civil aviation accidents. They identified how the attitude and behaviours of individuals or organizations contributed to the accidents, some of which occurred several decades before the safety culture concept and attributes were developed. 

The meeting, held in Spanish, was organized as part of an IAEA technical cooperation project that aims to strengthen Latin American and Caribbean Member States’ capabilities in radiation protection and emergency preparedness and response (RLA9085).

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