GC201311132 ART. From proclaimed to effective safety

Type d'édition : Papier
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Using clinical interviews conducted with approximately thirty wage-earners of the AZF plant, which was destroyed by an explosion on 21 September 2011, this research exposes the processes used to improve safety and the contradictions in them. The documentation gathered and analyzed helps us understand how safety regulations were made for producing chemical fertilizers. Besides the preliminary, formal, proclaimed regulations, a level of “effective safety” emerged out of the invention of “rules of usage”, which individuals worked out in situ and turned into a shared obligation: personal involvement in the safety improvement program, the appropriation of formal regulations, the understanding of incidents and accidents without trying to identify the person responsible, and the mutualizing of know-how about danger. Improving the effective level of safety did not, however, expel the risk of a catastrophe, proof of this being the explosion. This study forces us to think about the role of management in making regulations and, more broadly, in making norms from many sources coherent.

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