Causes of the MV Sewol disaster

The assignment question is:

On 16th April 2014, a series of failings led to the sinking of MV Sewol in South Korea, with the loss of 304 lives. In high-reliability organisations (HROs) continual exposure to potential crises means that their next failure could be catastrophic. Mindfulness is a notion focused on the comprehension of emerging threats and described as “a collective cognitive infrastructure underpinning organizations that enable them to discover and respond to unforeseen events, thereby preventing disastrous outcomes”. (Milch & Laumann, 2016, p.11)



Milch, V., & Laumann, K. (2016). Interorganizational complexity and organizational accident risk: A literature review. Safety Science, 82 (2016), 9–17.


View the BBC video and report ‘South Korea Sewol ferry: What we know’ at:


  1. Reflect on the causes of the MV Sewol disaster from the perspectives of different accident theories e.g. the

HRO theory. (40%)


  1. Reflect on the elements of mindfulness and its effectiveness in preventing safety failures over a range of

industries. (40%)


  1. Consider how undertaking this assignment has impacted on your learning and how it may benefit you as a practising health and safety professional. (20%)
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