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Synopsis

The passing of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Bill in the UK and increasing public and investor pressure for good Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility, means organizations now, more than ever, need to ensure they do all they can to prevent major accidents. However, past experience shows that just implementing safety management systems is not enough and this book makes the case for a more holistic and ethical approach to improving corporate systems as a whole.

Preventing Corporate Accidents shows how major accidents can result from human error and defects in corporate systems. The book describes accident prevention strategies, from safety culture, safety management systems, foresight and planning to safety regulations, corporate ethics, corporate social responsibility and the learning organization. Barry Whittingham illustrates with international case studies from various industries how and why these defences have failed in the past, and more importantly, how to strengthen corporate systems to prevent future major accidents.

The case studies include:

  • The loss of the space shuttle Columbia

  • Infant heart surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary

  • The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant incident

  • The fire and explosion at the Conoco-Phillips Humber oil refinery

  • Herald of Free Enterprise and Southall rail accident manslaughter prosecutions


This book is essential reading for all those with a professional interest in health and safety management, the control of major risk and accident prevention, in particular for directors, senior managers and health & safety professionals in high-hazard industries and public operations, such as nuclear, chemicals, construction, oil and gas, energy, manufacturing and transportation.

Barry Whittingham has worked as a senior manager, design engineer and consultant for the chemical, nuclear, offshore, oil and gas, railway and aviation sectors. He developed a career as a safety consultant specializing in the human factors aspects of accident causation. Barry is a Fellow of the Safety and Reliability Society.

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