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Conference Papers Year : 2008

BP Texas city accident : weak signal or sheer power ?


The aim of this paper is to discuss the interpretation of the BP Texas City accident. While bringing a lot of empirical data on a wide range of dimensions, the US Chemical Safety Board investigation did not import the normalisation of deviance concept for sensitising the data. It however clearly indicated a reference to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board where this concept was influential (i.e. chapter 8 of the Columbia report, 2003). The aim of this paper is to see nevertheless how valuable the concept could be for this case. The Baker Panel report (2007) will be used as a second source for this purpose. It will also be the opportunity to introduce the complex debate of the relationship between culture and power. Some, such as Perrow, have indeed criticised the cultural rationale of the normalisation of deviance, at the expense of power "We miss a great deal when we substitute culture for power". This paper is not a judgement of the reports used here as inputs but rather a way of interrogating the case with an alternative, and hopefully, complementary angle.
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ineris-00976209 , version 1 (09-04-2014)


  • HAL Id : ineris-00976209 , version 1


Jean-Christophe Le Coze. BP Texas city accident : weak signal or sheer power ?. 3. Resilience Engineering Symposium, Oct 2008, Antibes - Juan-les-Pins, France. pp.185-194. ⟨ineris-00976209⟩


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