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Normal Accidents: Living With High Risk Technologies (Princeton Paperbacks)

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Normal Accidents: Living With High Risk Technologies (Princeton Paperbacks) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Normal Accidents analyzes the social side of technological risk. Charles Perrow argues that the conventional engineering approach to ensuring safety--building in more warnings and safeguards--fails because systems complexity makes failures inevitable. He asserts that typical precautions, by adding to complexity, may help create new categories of accidents. (At Chernobyl, tests of a new safety system helped produce the meltdown and subsequent fire.) By recognizing two dimensions of risk--complex versus linear interactions, and tight versus loose coupling--this book provides a powerful framework for analyzing risks and the organizations that insist we run them.

The first edition fulfilled one reviewer's prediction that it "may mark the beginning of accident research." In the new afterword to this edition Perrow reviews the extensive work on the major accidents of the last fifteen years, including Bhopal, Chernobyl, and the Challenger disaster. The new postscript probes what the author considers to be the "quintessential 'Normal Accident'" of our time: the Y2K computer problem.

Synopsis:

Normal Accidents analyzes the social side of technological risk. Charles Perrow argues that the conventional engineering approach to ensuring safety--building in more warnings and safeguards--fails because systems complexity makes failures inevitable. He asserts that typical precautions, by adding to complexity, may help create new categories of accidents. (At Chernobyl, tests of a new safety system helped produce the meltdown and subsequent fire.) By recognizing two dimensions of risk--complex versus linear interactions, and tight versus loose coupling--this book provides a powerful framework for analyzing risks and the organizations that insist we run them.

The first edition fulfilled one reviewer's prediction that it "may mark the beginning of accident research." In the new afterword to this edition Perrow reviews the extensive work on the major accidents of the last fifteen years, including Bhopal, Chernobyl, and the Challenger disaster. The new postscript probes what the author considers to be the "quintessential 'Normal Accident'" of our time: the Y2K computer problem.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 426-439) and index.

Table of Contents

Abnormal Blessings vii

Introduction 3

1. Normal Accident at Three Mile Island 15

2. Nuclear Power as a High-Risk System: Why We Have Not Had More TMIs--But Will Soon 32

3. Complexity, Coupling, and Catastrophe 62

4. Petrochemical Plants 101

5. Aircraft and Airways 123

6. Marine Accidents 170

7. Earthbound Systems: Dams, Quakes, Mines, and Lakes 232

8. Exotics: Space, Weapons, and DNA 256

9. Living with High-Risk Systems 304

Afterword 353

Postscript: The Y2K Problem 388

List of Acronyms 413

Notes 415

Bibliography 426

Index 441

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691004129
Author:
Perrow, Charles
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J. :
Subject:
Social aspects
Subject:
Technology
Subject:
Industrial Health & Safety
Subject:
Risk assessment
Subject:
Accidents
Subject:
Industrial accidents
Subject:
Accidents, Occupational
Subject:
General Technology
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
Science Reference-Technology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Princeton Paperbacks
Series Volume:
77-540
Publication Date:
September 1999
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
386
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 23 oz

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Engineering » Engineering » General Engineering
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

Normal Accidents: Living With High Risk Technologies (Princeton Paperbacks) New Trade Paper
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$45.75 In Stock
Product details 386 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691004129 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Normal Accidents analyzes the social side of technological risk. Charles Perrow argues that the conventional engineering approach to ensuring safety--building in more warnings and safeguards--fails because systems complexity makes failures inevitable. He asserts that typical precautions, by adding to complexity, may help create new categories of accidents. (At Chernobyl, tests of a new safety system helped produce the meltdown and subsequent fire.) By recognizing two dimensions of risk--complex versus linear interactions, and tight versus loose coupling--this book provides a powerful framework for analyzing risks and the organizations that insist we run them.

The first edition fulfilled one reviewer's prediction that it "may mark the beginning of accident research." In the new afterword to this edition Perrow reviews the extensive work on the major accidents of the last fifteen years, including Bhopal, Chernobyl, and the Challenger disaster. The new postscript probes what the author considers to be the "quintessential 'Normal Accident'" of our time: the Y2K computer problem.

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