Man-made disasters usually lead to the tightening of safety regulations, because rule breaking is seen as a major cause of them. This reaction is based on the assumptions that the safety rules are good and that the rule-breakers are wrong. The reasons the personnel of a coke factory gave for breaking rules raise doubt about the tenability of these assumptions. It is unlikely that this result would have been achieved on the basis of a disaster evaluation, or high-reliability theory. In both approaches, knowledge of the consequences of human conduct hinders an unprejudiced judgement about where the blame for rule breaking lies.

High Reliability Theory, accidents, disaster evaluation, health, moral judgement, regulation, rule violation, safety, social values,
Law & Policy
Department of Sociology

Mascini, P. (2005). The Blameworthiness of Health and Safety Rule Violations. In Law & Policy (Vol. 27, pp. 472–490). doi:10.1111/j.1467-9930.2005.00208.x