Under Pressure (UK P&P)
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What Others Have Said About The Book
In my opinion, Gareth Lock’s “Under Pressure: Diving Deeper with Human Factors” is a book that should be read by all divers, especially those taking or teaching technical diving. Traditionally, scuba diving training has emphasized “technical skills” – mask clearing, buoyancy control, gas switching, laying line, and so forth. However, diving is a systematic endeavor that involves not just the diver but also the instructor, the training agencies, equipment manufacturers, insurance companies, etc. These “nontechnical skills” or “human factors” are equally, if not more important, to diving safety. As long as we only look at the diver and not the system as a whole, we are unlikely to make diving safer. Lock presents this systematic approach to diving safety with chapters on a variety of subjects including such important topics as mindset, “human error”, risk management, “just culture”, situational awareness, and communication in a very concise, yet thorough approach with anecdotes by leading members of the diving community. I look forward to using all of these concepts as I teach future courses.
Why you should read this? Well, in the simplest terms, it illustrates — graphically — the huge variety of pratfalls waiting to pounce on divers who don’t follow “best-practice.” More importantly, perhaps, it uses examples from so-called “expert” and “professional” divers to show that the old cliches about complacency and experience are founded in fact.
Moreover, Gareth has a knack for looking for and finding the root causes of imprudent gaffes that have the potential to kill. Rather than stopping at a blanket statement that: “Human error was the cause,” he’s made a detailed and focused study of what human error actually means and — of considerable value to you, me, and everyone else in the diving community — suggestions on how to stop it happening to us. And of course, all that may just save lives; perhaps yours!
Utilizing case studies of actual diving incidents, alongside examinations compiled by other high-risk industries, “Under Pressure” seeks to remove the stigma surrounding the mistakes divers make, illuminate that errors are a critical part of our collective learning process, and that despite the level of one’s experience, not a single one of us is infallible. Regardless of your current experience as a diver, the use of non-technical skills and understanding of the Human Factors affecting both your choices and those made by others around you will positively impact your own underwater performance, and hopefully make your own diving safer.