Learning from accidents – History repeats, again.

risknowlogy 2014-05-05

Horrible accidents have happened in the past. We learned a lot from them. Yet history keeps repeating. Are we really learning from accidents? It does not look like it. Check out how the Piper Alpha accident and the Triangle Shirtwaiste Factory accident are repeating themself.

Piper Alpha accident

In 1988 the piper alpha accidents happened in the North Sea. One hundred and sixty seven men died due to this accident. This accident was the trigger to develop the international IEC 61508 standard on safety-related system. Many changes have been made in the offshore industry due to this accident and this standard. Safety improved, significantly.

Next to the Piper Alpha platform was the Claymore Platform. In 2011 the Claymore Platform was shutdown due to safety concerns. Twenty plus years later apparently we have forgotten everything again! Are we really learning from accidents?

Triangle Shirtwaiste accident

In 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaiste Factory resulted in the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of New York City. One hundred and forty six people died on that day due to fire as they were not able to escape the building they were in. Exists were locked or filled with smoke. Many changes were made and the textile industry improved its safety records.

In 2010, one hundred years later, a fire broke out at the Hameem textile factory in Bangladesh. The circumstances were almost 100% identical as the accident at the Triangle Shirtwaiste Factory. We are not learning from accidents! See the video below.