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Accident ProneA History of Technology, Psychology, and Misfits of the Machine Age$
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John C. Burnham

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226081175

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226081199.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 03 December 2021

Bypassing Accident Proneness with Engineering

Bypassing Accident Proneness with Engineering

(p.193) 10. Bypassing Accident Proneness with Engineering
Accident Prone
University of Chicago Press

This chapter addresses how people concerned with traumatic injury and safety found it so natural, as they were abandoning accident proneness, to turn instead to using engineering to meet the social problem of accidents. With the idea of accident proneness, experts could associate some or many of the injuries and errors with people who showed a pattern of causing trouble. The strategies to avoid the idea of accident proneness are elaborated. Cognitive psychology brought optimism into the safety movement, as well as offering a new approach to understanding why accidents happen. The engineering approach to safety problems that ultimately rendered the idea of accident proneness is then reported. Even as engineering continued to be the dominant approach to controlling accidents, officials in government, business, and nonprofit entities persisted in their traditional programs of education and discipline.

Keywords:   cognitive psychology, safety movement, engineering, education, traumatic injury, errors

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