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Industrial disasters: classification, investigation, and prevention.
Parrish-RG; Falk-H; Melius-JM
Recent Advances in Occupational Health 1987; :155-168
An industrial disaster was defined in this review as an event which causes widespread destruction or distress and usually occurs suddenly or over a short period of time and is limited to fires or explosions in industrial settings or to chemical or radioactive releases from industrial point sources. The review was limited to those disasters that cause injury or death to man. Factors which contribute to industrial disasters included: the improper storage of flammable, explosive, or toxic chemicals, including radioactive materials; uncontrolled release of untreated chemicals, reaction products, or energy from a chemical reaction; and the presence of people near enough to the chemical or energy release to be exposed and/or injured. Epidemiological investigations conducted following industrial disasters were intended to determine the extent of the damage to the population and determine the risk factors that are important predictors of subsequent injury or death. Examples were given for the epidemiologic investigation of industrial disasters including complexities of conducting extensive epidemiologic studies in a disaster setting such as in Bhopal, India following the release of methyl-isocyanate (624839) and the use of coordinated federal and state response teams such as in Mount St. Helens following the eruptions there. The spectrum of long term epidemiological studies of a postdisaster nature include those following the Three Mile Island and its potential for extensive radiation leakage and the surveying of atom bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Prevention efforts and safety rules were discussed.
Epidemiology; Mortality-rates; Accident-prevention; Safety-research; Explosion-prevention; Industrial-hazards; Accident-analysis; Radiation-exposure; Toxic-materials
Book or book chapter
Recent Advances in Occupational Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division