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Aaron Wildavsky
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NRFSN number: 15871
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Safety and danger are usually seen as opposites that exclude one another in practice. Safety is often seen as the absence of danger, and danger is often seen as the absence of safety. This book, however, argues that the two conditions are unavoidably and unconditionally connected and that continued safety must encourage the continued search for safety. In other words, safe practices are found, maintained, and improved upon by actively taking risks that have the potential to increase safety. However, organizations and individuals must be willing to take risks recognizing that the attempt may have some level of harm. This book is based on the principles that uncertainty of outcomes is always present to some degree, safety and the risk of harm are unavoidably connected, and safety choices always sacrifice one danger in favor of another. Productive safety measures come from balancing potential gains in safety with the unavoidable harm to individuals, organizations, and the environment that is brought on by those choices. The book discusses these relationships in detail and offers several strategies for increasing safety and reducing the risk of harm.


Wildavsky A. 1987 Searching for safety. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. 253 p.

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