Charles Perrow takes a particularly negative view of the possibility of safe management of high-risk technologies in Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies. His summary of the Three Mile Island accident is illustrative: “The system caused the accident, not the operators” (12). Perrow’s account of TMI is chiefly an account of complex and tightly-coupled system processes, and the difficulty these processes create for operators and managers when they go wrong. And he is doubtful that the industry can safely manage its nuclear plants.
A post about High Reliability Organizations in the context of Charles Perrow and Nancy Leveson