Trapped by compliance? The voices of the regulator
MetadataShow full item record
This study is motivated by a concern that the salience of compliance and enforcement in regulatory action may lead companies to focus excessively on individual compliance in their safety management efforts.A qualitative study of incident and accident investigation reports issued by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) was carried out to shed light on (1) ways in which regulatory authorities can break out of an individualized compliance-oriented discourse, and (2) ways in which compliance logic may intrude even when the regulatory authority seeks to go beyond this logic. We found that event sequence descriptions were mostly “de-individualised”, i.e. individuals did not figure as grammatical subjects. Nonconformitieswere framed as deficiencies of the safety management system rather than individual violations. The PSA used asymmetric dialogue in a way that prompted the regulated companies to frame the findings in a similar way.