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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127758 Find in a Library
Title: Corporate Killing: Bhopals Will Happen
Author(s): T Jones
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 345
Sponsoring Agency: Free Assoc Books
London, N1 9RQ, England
Publication Number: ISBN 1-85343-008-0
Sale Source: Free Assoc Books
26 Freegrove Road
London, N1 9RQ,
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The Bhopal chemical industry disaster in India has been widely seen as an accident that could have been prevented by better safety measures, and the author views the disaster as corporate murder.
Abstract: The leak of toxic gases at Bhopal in 1984 was the world's worst chemical disaster. Estimates of death vary from 2,500 to 10,000 people. Apart from the immediate casualties, it has been reported that two people still die each week from the after-effects of the disaster. The author suggests that the source of toxic chemical accidents can be found in economic and management perspectives that control the design and operation of chemical process plants. A case study approach is used to analyze the management of Bhopal as a crisis for both the chemical industry and the country of India. The book describes medical, legal, and political struggles that plagued management and examines the effects of Bhopal on the chemical industry worldwide. It also shows how the chemical industry's attempt to limit the resulting crisis to peripheral countries was undermined by the toxic leak at Union Carbide's plant in West Virginia in 1985. This plant was a showcase of supposedly accident-proof technology, yet there are similarities between the West Virginia leak and the one at Bhopal eight months earlier. The author examines the chemical industry's safety record, arguing that the complexity of chemical process plants, combined with management practices that takes workers further and further away from any control over the work process, makes accidents inevitable. Finally, the author looks at other case studies involving toxic chemicals and accidents in the United States, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Appendixes note toxic hazards and major hazard sites in Great Britain. References, chapter notes, tables, photographs, and illustrations
Main Term(s): Corporate crimes; Hazardous substances or materials
Index Term(s): Corporate criminal liability; India; Industrial security
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