Construction safety has substantially improved, but has reached a plateau. Further improvement will come from spreading Best Practice throughout the industry, or from Breakthrough that transcends Best Practice. We are working on Breakthrough and propose that what is needed is a new theory of accidents. Current Best Practice is described along with its underlying theoretical assumptions. An alternative theory is proposed, based on the work of Jens Rasmussen, a leading thinker on risk management in dynamic environments. A research program is proposed to test that theory and to develop a new approach to safety management.
Accident, accident theory, decision making, hazard, risk, safety
Howell, G.A. , Ballard, G. , Abdelhamid, T.S. & Mitropoulos, P. 2002, 'Working Near the Edge: A New Approach to Construction Safety' In:, Formoso, C.T. & Ballard, G., 10th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Gramado, Brazil, 6-8 Aug 2002. pp 49-60