Accidents are events that we do not want to happen. But they do. And present-day stresses in our complex society can evolve into future accidents, and potential disasters. Root causes range from poor maintenance at nuclear facilities, to effects amplified by climate change. The traditional paradigm used to account for accidents is made up of three parts. The first is to assess the risk of occurrence, then to judge if the assessed risks are acceptable compared to society’s benefit, and ultimately to provide a generalised emergency service that will try to mitigate the consequential impact. Taking a more holistic and critical approach is to question and test if the preparedness, response and recovery capability is adequate. This represents a new paradigm for accident management, involving the need to quantitatively scale our accident and disaster coping strategies and capability. The scaling analysis needs to account for magnitude, time, rate and space.
Part of the book: Accident Analysis and Prevention