A Socio-Technical Approach of Risk Management Applied to Collisions Involving Fishing Vessels

To make a study of accident and risk management, it is necessary to analyze the socio-technical system in which these accidents occur. The strategies by which the actors involved respond to critical situations can only be understood within their own context, by recognizing the exigencies and constraints of the system in which they operate. According to the chart of migrations and transgressions of professional practices [Amalberti, R., 2001. The paradoxes of almost totally safe transportation systems. Safety Science 37, 109–126], a system, any system, is conceived as responding to the triple pressure of social regulations, available technology and the financial returns of performance. Without curbs or checks, the system would evolve toward an increase in performance and individual profit. Barriers define the boundaries within which operations are considered to be safe. A case-by-case analysis of collisions at sea enabled us to identify two basic causes: undetected signals, and wrong diagnoses. It has also allowed us to define the real operating space of the functional units (fishing vessels) most often involved in collisions, as well as the permeable areas of the safety barriers, through which operations are allowed to migrate toward unsafe zones. As far as the collision risk is concerned, functional units work in a borderline area, close to the limits of safe behavior. To prevent accidents, it will be necessary to reinforce these too-permeable safety barriers, thus limiting the migration factor and bringing the functional units back into an area in which the factors of safety, performance and individual profits are all acceptable.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Abstract reprinted with permission of Elsevier.
  • Authors:
    • Morel, Gael
    • Chauvin, Christine
  • Publication Date: 2006-8


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01045340
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 29 2007 6:49AM