Caught in numbers, lost in focus: Safety management in global shipping

Study after study has been conducted on safety management without ever engaging critically with the term safety or examining how it became one with the science of management. Producing comprehensive accounts of all ‘unharmed’ and ‘uninjured’ events is mundane and resource-intensive. Instead, the alternative approach is to examine harm and injuries both potential and actual. What we get is ‘unsafety management’.

If we regard management as a question of measure and control in order to allocate material and manpower, it follows that managing safety is a question of measuring and controlling unsafe events. But this approach has become problematic at all levels, from board room


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