#里茲螞蟻批判性思考寫作專欄 #Alex專欄 #外師每週精選閱讀
Yet another horrific accident, yet more finger-pointing and empty apologies, no doubt to be followed by half-hearted promises and ineffective policies. That’s the takeaway from the situation that the author of this week’s article, Michael Turton, sees when surveying the aftermath of Taiwan’s latest disaster. His analysis borrows heavily from Charles Perrow’s text Normal Accidents, which finds accidents to be a normalised part of modern societies that rely on a whole host of complex and integrated systems. In addition to Perrow’s theories, Turton also suggests that these accidents occur from “operating in an atmosphere of intense production pressures and a lax safety culture”; however, of these two, Turton presents the intense production pressures to be the more dominant factor leading to many of these disasters. Thus he seems to suggest that blaming the “operator” – whether it be the train driver, bus driver or power station operator – as somewhat of a cop-out, with higher authorities treating “lowly” operators as scapegoats.
While it may be the case that production pressure is a significant contributing factor in Taiwan’s frequent tragedies, and there certainly is a culture of blaming the subordinates, it by no means exculpates the operators when the individual, through negligence or ineptitude, is at fault. Although all the details have not been revealed yet, this most recent train accident seems to have been caused by negligence on the part of the crane truck driver who, for reasons unknown, was working on a day when he had been informed that he was not to work (was this production pressure?), and is alleged to have had an illegal immigrant working with him at the time. Whether or not a similar accident might have occurred on a different day when he was supposed to be working is perhaps beside the point. If he was so inept at his job that he did not have adequate skills to safely operate his crane truck, then it is very likely that his negligence would have inevitably led to disaster one day. This begs the question of how many more people are working in jobs that they are not adequately skilled at, and which may one day cause more disasters through their incompetence? This also leads to the related point that Turton refers to only in passing – that of the “lax safety culture” in Taiwan.
It would be extremely short-sighted to downplay the influence of the lax safety culture that appears to pervade society at almost all levels, because this is as much a contributing factor that leads to the attitude of “near enough is good enough” with individuals being deliberately slipshod in their work and criminally irresponsible in their blatant disregard for the lives and safety of others. Just think about the numerous horrendous disasters, many of which had multiple fatalities, that Taiwan’s lax safety culture has wreaked upon the people in only the last decade: at least 20 train derailments plus tour bus crashes; multiple plane and helicopter crashes; building and infrastructure collapses, such as in Tainan, Hualian and the bridge in Suao; the gas explosion in Kaohsiung, and other fires such as at the bowling alley in Taoyuan and the water park in Bali; and this is only a list off the top of my head. There are no doubt others, and that is not even to mention the countless near misses. Perhaps some perspective on just how abysmal Taiwan’s safety record is could prompt urgent and effective action. Otherwise, when will this unnecessary death and destruction ever end?
上面的貼文內容是我們的實力派外師Alex，針對每週一篇英文文章閱讀後，親自寫出的批判性思考文（不是copy & paste的東西啊）。旨在讓同學知道如何用不同的角度來讀文章。你可以選擇先讀Alex寫的批判文，也可以選擇先讀本次的英文文章連結，但最好兩處都要閱讀才能達到最好的效果。
Alex是我們的御用老師，每週都會幫梅姨、托托、慕華上英文課。目前星期一晚上有開一班 #里茲螞蟻外師應用英文課程 ，程度高級，充滿知識性與深度。有開放單次付費上課。若你想學習用英文來深度探討各項主題，check it out！