Normal Accidents

By Charles Perrow,

Book cover of Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Normal Accidents as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is an older text, but a good one nonetheless.

Normal Accidents highlights the complexity behind major disasters. In the hours, days, and even years leading up to any major incident, there are often multiple opportunities to reduce the negative impacts or even avoid them altogether.

Focusing on technological hazards, Perrow highlights the fact that major incidents are rarely the result of a single point of failure. As risk managers, we need to understand the compounding nature of risk, and this book brings that lesson to life. 

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