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Although accidents are frequently associated with randomness, the impact and effects of accidents are not random. Errors or 'corruptions of intent' generate chains of structured events within the socio-technical system in which they are generated, following the axiom that 'errors make non-random use of the structure of the system in which they occur'. The patterned response is thus constrained by pre-existing features of the system, although the precise form of response will depend upon the relative strengths of the system structure and the disruptive chain. The model of 'socio-technical system structure/error/system intervention' is discussed and illustrated in connection with a fire in a railway sleeping car at Taunton, England, in 1978.

Additional information

Authors: TURNER B A, JRC Ispra Estab. (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: SRA conference on Utility of Risk Analysis in Decision Making, Laxenburg (AT), Nov. 10-11, 1988
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 34356 ORA
Record Number: 198910133 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en