chapter  4
16 Pages

Corporate Management of Health and Safety Hazards: Current Practice and Needed Research

Corporate management of health and safety hazards is terra incognita. As with all unknown lands, myths and stereotypes abound that are shaped, in this case, by the extensive chronicling of management failures, vivid risk events and images of corporate behaviour. No road map currently exists to the varied topography of widely differing industrial sectors, longestablished and new technologies, large and small firms, and profitable and marginal companies, and we do not provide one here. Rather, we enquire into the characteristics of hazard management programmes in large industrial corporations. The corporations tend to lie at one end of the industrial continuum in terms of size and resources available for hazard management. Several are unquestionably among the leaders of industrial health and safety; one experienced one of the major failures of the 20th century. So the landscape of industrial hazard management as it exists during the 1980s here is complex, featuring both industrial success and failure, opportunity and limitation, and emerging trends in safety as well as past errors.