This book is more than just a catalogue of catastrophes and mistakes. For each of the events recorded here, the author gives the background to what happened, a summary of the outcome and details of the lessons that were, or should have been, learnt. He also explores the politics of disaster and risk reduction.
It also goes beyond the stereotypical idea of what makes a 'disaster'. Fires, explosions, chemical and nuclear leaks, and structural collapses are all included, but so are events that are less high-profile but nevertheless offer important information for improving future risk management. Some, such as the Windsor Castle fire or the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, killed no-one but cost millions to put right. Others, such as asbestos, crept up on unsuspecting workers, causing fatal diseases many years after exposure.
Contents preview: fires, explosions at fuel stores, environmental pollution, accidents with high explosives, shipwrecks, offshore oil disasters, air crashes, accidents in space, nuclear disasters, mining accidents, railway collisions, crowd crushes, stadium tragedies, the human factor, structural collapses, floods, silent killers - carcinogens, public and animal health, reducing hazards and risks, the politics of disaster, and establishing a culture of safety.