Sociology 11-25-1

Sociology 11-25-1 - November 25, 2008 Topic: Analysis of...

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November 25, 2008 Topic: Analysis of the Tenerife Air Disaster -Human activity is a major factor in disaster -Human error only results in disasters when organized in specific contexts Produces disasters where society produces sets of conditions that can cause disasters Ex: The enemies of James Bond have systems that are structured poorly because if one thing goes wrong, all else fails -The study of disasters helps prevent future disasters -TENERIFE: human vs structural error -Tenerife incident: - had to stop at Tenerife because there was a terrorist incident in the Canary Islands - KLM and Pan Am flights both arrived at Tenerife - KLM passengers exited the plane and were supposed to takeoff first - Pan Am just arrived and did not hear orders well - Pan Am did not make the turn they were ordered to make and were in a cloud on the runway so KLM was not able to see them. - All instructions were in English -KLM thought they were ready for takeoff - 583 people killed so…what’s going on? -total # of mistakes = 16 Examples: Pan Am missed turn, Controller used bad wording, Pilot did not wait, Pilot did not listen to co-pilot -Human error is predictable - Dutch pilots only allow crew to fly a certain number of hours each month - crew that is under stress is more prone to make mistakes - Stress is what saved people in 9/11 but in this incident it caused the pilot to take off because he was in a hurry. - Fear is a form of stress - “Reversion of Routine” breaking out of your usual schedule - Stress brings people back to routine - KML pilot trained new pilots and therefore had a different routine; he was also used to calling the shots. - The co-pilot of KML was trained by the pilot. Co-pilot was used to being subordinate to pilot and did not question him. - Hierarchy- dangerous because causes people not to question authority, can lead to disasters - Collective decision making takes a long time therefore, there is usually an authority figure who is in charge of making most decisions. - Deadlock- everyone has to say yes/ break hierarchy/ save lives - In out of ordinary situations, the authority should go to people with the most experience because a hierarchy becomes dangerous and inefficient. _______________________________________________________________________ Subject: Is “Human Error” the Cause of Disasters? Reading: Karl Weick, “The vulnerable system: an analysis of the Tenerife air disaster” - There is an aspect of human error in disasters, even in natural disasters. ie. Construction/preparation/procedure-human activity that leads to disaster -Our Humanity as individuals becomes the blame, which is wrong because it is due to the ADDITIVE effect of conditions that allow the human error to cause disaster. -Ex: James Bond movie in which the “bad guy” has a plot solely structured on one building/idea. When James destroys that
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This note was uploaded on 06/10/2010 for the course SOC 105 taught by Professor Michaelschwartz during the Fall '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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Sociology 11-25-1 - November 25, 2008 Topic: Analysis of...

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