Industrial Safety and Risk Management


172 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 0-88864-394-2
DDC 363.11




Reviewed by Dave Bennett

David Bennett is the national director of the Department of Workplace Health, Safety and Environment at the Canadian Labour Congress in Ottawa.


Books written by management gurus who turn their attention to
occupational health and safety are to be avoided like the plague.
Typically, they betray a total ignorance of the discipline of health and
safety; they wilfully ignore the thick regulatory context of health and
safety; and they accord no place to trade unions, which are the main
driving force for high standards of workplace health and safety.

Industrial Safety and Risk Management is not a book of this sort. It is
written by highly experienced industrial practitioners from the
University of Alberta. It takes full account of health and safety
regulation, while workers’ rights are treated with respect. The focus
of the book is narrow: major industrial accident prevention and
response, mainly in the petrochemical and related industries. As
indicated by the title of the book, the emphasis is on industrial safety
to the exclusion of occupational health. One reason for this is that,
from a business perspective, health is far less important than safety.

Other approaches take a different view: that health is, by most
measures, more important than safety. Similarly, risk management, while
legitimate, is only one possible approach among many and not one
conducive to the overall health and well being either of the enterprise
or of the workers within it. Thus, Industrial Safety and Risk Management
has a limited and singular interest. Within these limits, it is one of
the very best works of its kind.


Wilson, Laird, and Doug McCutcheon., “Industrial Safety and Risk Management,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 25, 2024,