Man to blame for present and future disasters

February 6, 1998

Manmade disasters will be just as common in the future as they are today, despite improved technology, because of man's "abject failure" to learn from the past, it was argued this week. David Weir, of Newcastle Business School, delivering the Barry Turner memorial lecture at Middlesex University, said the proportion of plane crashes in the world due to manmade failure has remained constant, at around 80 per cent, for 30 years. "Many people believe that as control and communications systems become increasingly sophisticated, so the likelihood of such systems failing us is reduced," he said.

"In reality, it is not the control and communications systems themselves which lead to disasters but the inadequate implementation and management of those systems."

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