Accident And Design: Contemporary Debates On Risk Management by C. Hood, D. K. C. Jones

By C. Hood, D. K. C. Jones

An exam of alternative theoretical, methodological and useful methods in the direction of the administration of threat. Seven dimensions of the talk are pointed out, and the case for every place is recommend, the full dialogue being set in context and standpoint. This quantity makes an attempt to spot and juxtapose the contested doctrines and underlying assumptions within the box of possibility administration.

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The claim is that, if liability is not precisely targeted on specific and appropriate decision-makers, a poorly designed institutional incentive structure will allow avoidable failures to occur. Without close targeting of liability, there will be too little incentive for care to be taken by those key decision-makers in organizations who are capable of creating hazards, and (the argument goes) “risk externalization” will be encouraged. Policies should, therefore, aim to support expanded corporate legal liability, more precisely targeted insurance premium practices, and regulatory policies that have the effect of “criminalizing” particular management practices and of laying sanctions directly on key decision-makers within corporations, rather than trusting corporations as undifferentiated legal persons (cf.

Flexible technologies are one way of increasing resilience, but diversity is another very familiar route to more options. If there are two routes towards more options, what happens when they operate against each other? An important element in the publicized case for British nuclear plant in the 1970s and 1980s, was that it provided diversity of fuel supplies for a generation system that had been too dependent on coal. The case for Sizewell B claimed that diverse fuel supply from uranium and coal would give the electricity generators greater ability to cope with unexpected shocks of fuel price increases or strikes, the latter of particular importance remembering the strength of the miners’ union at the time (Central Electricity Generating Board 1982).

The incubation period, in which interlinking sets of such events build-up, is brought to a conclusion either by the taking of preventive action to remove one or more of the dangerous preconditions that have been identified, or by a trigger event after which harmful energy is released. The previously hidden factors are then brought to light in a dramatic and destructive way. There is then an opportunity for a review and reassessment of the reasons for failure, and adjustments can be made in order to attempt to avoid a recurrence of similar events in the future.

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