Van Three-Miles Island tot Piper Alpha

Translated title of the contribution: From Three-Mile Island to Piper Alpha

Paul Swuste, Jop Groeneweg, Coen Van Gulijk, Walter Zwaard, Saul Lemkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Which general management trends influenced safety management, and which safety models, theories and management solutions were introduced to explain and control causes of accidents and disasters in the period between Three Mile Island and Piper Alpha? In which context did these developments take place, and how did this safety context influence the safety domain in the Netherlands?
Method: The literature study was limited to original English and Dutch documents and articles in scientific and professional literature from 1979 to 1988.
Results and conclusions: Models and theories of human errors explaining occupational accidents were still popular in the professional literature. A system approach was introduced into mainstream safety science, starting in process safety, and subsequently drifting into occupational safety. Accidents were thought to be the result of disturbances in a dynamic system, a socio-technical system, rather than just human error. Human errors were also perceived differently: they were no longer just faults of people, but consequences of suboptimal interactions during process disturbances.
Translated title of the contributionFrom Three-Mile Island to Piper Alpha
Original languageDutch
Article number2
Pages (from-to)130-157
Number of pages28
JournalTijdscrhift voor toegepaste Arbowetenschap
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


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