There is much to be gained from the study of catastrophes. Likewise the records of accidents in industry and transport are of great importance, not only by indicating trends in the incidence of loss or casualties, but also as a measure of human behaviour. This edition places emphasis on the human factor, with the first two chapters providing a method of analysing the records of accident and all-cause mortality rates to show their relationship with levels of economic development and growth rates, and to make suggestions as to the way in which such processes may be linked.
Case histories are given throughout the book. These are designed to show how human frailty, or the unexpected weakness of materials, or a combination of both, can lead to dire and tragic circumstances.