The costs of industrialisation are many. Human beings, wildlife, nature, the environment, and future generations often pay the price. In some instances, those who shoulder the burden do so voluntarily; some are compensated for their sacrifice and, in most cases, the suffering is imposed without their knowledge and consent. Add to that the tons of catastrophic events such as industrial accidents, mine collapses, and transport disasters that are a regular news item in this day and age. Ironically, many of these were foreseen and the deaths and illnesses could have been prevented.
Victims of industrial accidents are sometimes paid compensation although these are often small quantities of money and frequently do not reach the victims on time. Fortunately, we now have the capability to identify the culprits and are constantly refining the mechanism to measure the cost of the pain, suffering and physical damage they generate.
A review of these disasters has identified three problems:
1) Safety inspectors are lax or go easy on owners;
2) Companies hire inspectors from “friendly” agencies; and
3) Companies ignore inspection reports or disregard early warning signs.