Derek Viner presents a theoretical basis for, and a practical understanding of, the prediction and management of accidents in the industrial and commercial worlds. The author spans ideas formed between the industrial revolution and the present day, but focuses on more recent theoretical developments specifically in defence and petro-chemical systems. He argues that the consequences of the absence of a holistic approach is the tendency for regulators to form (misinformed) theory on which to base legislation and the prevalence of commercial systems leading to disparate efforts by different industries. The net effect of this is seen in disasters of the magnitude of the Gulf of Mexico explosion and oil spill.
Contents: History: the historical origins of the management of risks; Accident theory: dominos and triangles - enduring influences; The origins of damage and loss: understanding the processes; Risk: damage and loss processes are uncertain to occur; Identifying and describing risks: prevention depends on knowing what could happen; Risk estimation: how significant is the risk?; Risk control: understanding prevention and cure; Risk evaluation: how safe is safe enough?; Classifying and analysing risk: damage aetiology through logical analysis; Risk numeracy: numerical insights into failures and incidents; The management of risk: strategy and tactics; Engineering and the management of technical risks: prevention by technical management and design.