Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Shaping Health PolicyCase Study Methods and Analysis$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark Exworthy, Stephen Peckham, Martin Powell, and Alison Hann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427588

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427588.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Normal accidents: learning how to learn about safety

Normal accidents: learning how to learn about safety

Chapter:
(p.107) Seven Normal accidents: learning how to learn about safety
Source:
Shaping Health Policy
Author(s):

Justin Keen

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847427588.003.0007

Charles Perrow's Normal Accidents sets out detailed accounts of major accidents in organisations managing complex technologies. It focuses on the near-meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in the USA in 1979, but also examines accidents in a number of other industries. Perrow developed a general framework for understanding why accidents — and particularly major accidents — are more common in some industries than others, and why there are rare but catastrophic accidents in the nuclear and some other industries. Three lessons for health service research are drawn: case studies have a role in investigations of safety in health care processes; Normal Accidents is an excellent example of a retrospective, inductive, process-tracing case study; and there are both possibilities and problems of learning from accidents, and from past events in general.

Keywords:   medical errors, patient safety, Charles Perrow, normal accidents, case studies

Policy Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.