Learning from Accidents

3rd Edition

Authors: Trevor Kletz
Hardcover ISBN: 9780750648837
Imprint: Gulf Professional Publishing
Published Date: 18th July 2001
Page Count: 352


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Review of previous edition:

"Trevor Kletz's book makes an invaluable contribution to the systematic, professional and scientific approach to accident investigation". The Chemical Engineer

Fully revised and updated, the third edition of Learning from Accidents provides more information on accident investigation, including coverage of accidents involving liquefied gases, building collapse and other incidents that have occurred because faults were invisible (e.g. underground pipelines).

By analysing accidents that have occurred Trevor Kletz shows how we can learn and thus be better able to prevent accidents happening again. Looking at a wide range of incidents, covering the process industries, nuclear industry and transportation, he analyses each accident in a practical and non-theoretical fashion and summarises each with a chain of events showing the prevention and mitigation which could have occurred at every stage.

At all times Learning from Accidents, 3rd Edition emphasises cause and prevention rather than human interest or cleaning up the mess. Anyone involved in accident investigation and reporting of whatever sort and all those who work in industry, whether in design, operations or loss prevention will find this book full of invaluable guidance and advice.

Key Features

Completely up-dated.

Shows, by analysing accidents that have occurred, how we can learn from them, and prevent the same accidents happening again.



Managers, Maintenance engineers, design engineers, safety engineers, human factors specialists and all those interested in safety and accident prevention.


Students on ROSPA and HSE health and safety courses.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Two simple incidents; Protective system failure; Poor procedures and poor management; A gas leak and explosion - The hazards of insularity; A liquid leak and fire - The hazards of amateurism; Another tank explosion - The hazards of optional extras; Flixborough; Seveso; Bhopal; Three Mile Island; Chernobyl; Aberfan; Missing recommendations; Three weeks in a works; Some pipe failures; Piper Alpha; The King's Cross underground railway station fire; Clapham Junction - Every sort of human error; Herald of Free Enterprise; Some aviation accidents; Invisable hazards; Signals passed at danger; Longford: The hazards of following fashions; The Gresford colliery explosion; Green intention, red result; Looking beyond violations; Keeping an open mind; Secondhand software: The Therac story. Conclusions; Epilogue: Myths on incident investigations - widely held beliefs that are not wholly true.


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© Gulf Professional Publishing 2001
Gulf Professional Publishing
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Trevor Kletz

Trevor Kletz, OBE, D.Sc., F.Eng., a process safety consultant, has published more than a hundred papers and nine books on loss prevention and process safety, including most recently Lessons From Disaster: How Organizations Have No Memory and Accidents Recur and Computer Control and Human Error. His experience includes thirty-eight years with Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd., where he served as a production manager and safety adviser in the petrochemical division, and membership in the department of chemical engineering at Loughborough University, Leicestershire, England. He is currently senior visiting research fellow at Loughborough University and an officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Affiliations and Expertise

Process Safety Consultant, UK


'By analysing accidents that have occurred, Trevor Kletz shows how we can learn from them and thus be better able to prevent them happening again....this book is a must for all maintenance, production and process engineers, design engineers, safety engineers and all those interested in safety and accident prevention.' Chemical Industry Digest. Mar/Apr 2002 "Trevor Kletz's book makes an invaluable contribution to the systematic, professional and scientific approach to accident investigation". The Chemical Engineer "I would recommend this book for all those with responsibility for health and safety". Chemistry and Industry "Trevor Kletz's excellent publication...the text is written in a style which is easy to understand, assimilate and put into practice". Health and Safety Focus Sep 1994