chapter  5
26 Pages

Health promotion and the preventable accident

If the accident was relegated to the margins of medicine during the nine­ teenth and early twentieth centuries, it has in many ways moved centre stage in the second half of the twentieth century. As the last chapter noted, from the middle of the twentieth century there has been a growth in epi­ demiological knowledge about accidents, based largely on examinations of fatal accident rates. The most striking transformation of our knowledge about accidents has been not its growth, however, but the construction of a very different kind of accident. Accidents have been transformed from random misfortunes, which can only be understood in aggregate, into preventable misfortunes.