36 episodes

A show about engineering failures and disasters. We examine the technical, human and organisational causes of failure, and explore why our decision-making is not nearly as rational as we’d like to think.

Brady Heywood Podcast Sean Brady

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 143 Ratings

A show about engineering failures and disasters. We examine the technical, human and organisational causes of failure, and explore why our decision-making is not nearly as rational as we’d like to think.

    Miami Bridge Failure - Part 3

    Miami Bridge Failure - Part 3

    In today's episode, we bring to a close our three-part series on the collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Miami, Florida, in 2018.

    In part one, you heard about the cracks in the bridge and how nothing was done about them. And in part two, you heard about the serious errors that were made in the bridge's design.

    In this episode, we take a deep dive into two unanswered questions from this failure: just why did everyone ignore the cracks in the bridge; and why did a rigorous checking process not identify the errors in the bridge's design?

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 32 min
    Miami Bridge Failure - Part 2

    Miami Bridge Failure - Part 2

    Today's episode is the second of a three-part series on the 2018 collapse of the International University Pedestrian Bridge in Miami, Florida.

    In our last episode, you heard how a pedestrian bridge under construction at the Florida International University collapsed in 2018 and killed six people. While many things came together to cause the collapse of this structure, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) identified some serious errors in the design of the bridge.

    In this episode, we take a deep dive into these serious design errors as we attempt to understand why this tragedy occurred.

    Resources and links:
    NTSB Illustrated Digest on the collapse

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 19 min
    Miami Bridge Failure - Part 1

    Miami Bridge Failure - Part 1

    Today's episode is the first of a three-part series about the 2018 collapse of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge in Miami, Florida.

    In this part, you'll hear how the signals which could have prevented the collapse of the bridge were ignored, leading to the deaths of six people.

    You'll also hear how the checks and balances put in place to identify these bad decisions failed. And how this bridge gave warning sign after warning sign that something was wrong, but the parties involved did little to act.

    The more you hear about what happened, the harder you'll find it to understand why it happened.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 25 min
    The Brady Review

    The Brady Review

    Today's episode is a little different. It explores 'The Brady Review', a report Brady Heywood undertook on the mining and quarrying industry in Queensland, Australia.

    From January 2000 until the end of July 2019, 47 people lost their lives in the mining and quarrying industry in Queensland, Australia. That's an average of 2.4 fatalities per year, or 12 fatalities in any five year period.

    What's causing these fatalities? Is it that the mining industry is inherently hazardous? Or is it bad luck or human error?

     

    Resources and links:
    The Brady Review report
    Rethinking Safety podcast
    Causal Diagram example

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 20 min
    The Pike River Mine Disaster - Part 3

    The Pike River Mine Disaster - Part 3

    CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains vivid descriptions of how the miners, who lost their lives in the disaster, died. Listener discretion is advised.

     

    In this final episode of our three-part series on the Pike River Mine disaster, we bring the story to a close.

    We examine what took place on the day of the disaster, 19 November, 2010.

     

    Resources and links:
    Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min
    The Pike River Mine Disaster - Part 2

    The Pike River Mine Disaster - Part 2

    In part one of this three-part series on the Pike River mine disaster, you heard what took place in the minutes, hours and days following the methane explosion at the mine.

    In this episode, we’ll step back and look at the history of the mine. You’ll hear how the factors that led to the explosion didn't suddenly present themselves on 19 November 2010. Instead, they had been building up over the months and years earlier.

     

    Resources and links:
    Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
143 Ratings

143 Ratings

callumggduncan ,

Awesome show

I work as a mining engineer and I’ve gotten half my colleagues onto this show too. Really enjoyed the hanging gardens episode as well

FingersMGee ,

Fantastic Podcast

Such an amazing insight into the reasons why engineering disasters and tragedies happen and the steps that lead up to each of these events. Really reminds us the reason behind the protocols and procedures in engineering safety and why they are there. Highly recommend this podcast

Music Geeban ,

Expertly written while accessible and engaging

I was recommended this podcast by an engineering colleague, and it has absolutely exceeded my expectations. I thoroughly enjoy hearing the human and organisational aspects of failures (as well as the technical details) and often find myself reflecting on similar scenarios in my own work. I’ve binged the series while driving to work and learned a lot along the way.

One point of feedback that I will offer is that I’ve sometimes struggled normalising the volume, especially when listening in my car. Sean often presents very clearly, but on the odd occasion will drop to an almost-whisper tone, forcing me to crank the stereo volume. Acknowledging that this can be for dramatic effect, I’ll request that the volumes are kept pretty constant (perhaps edited in post) for the subscribers like me who listen in the car, sometimes over road noise.

Thanks, as always, for making a fantastic podcast!

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