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Social approaches in the investigation of technological disasters: the case of fire Ultracargo company

Grant number: 15/13436-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal researcher:Renzo Romano Taddei
Grantee:Alex Azevedo dos Santos
Home Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil


This study aims to use social approaches as investigative tool of technological disasters, based on the fire at company Ultracargo. Situated in the port of Santos - São Paulo, the fire at the company was bigger in terms of duration in the state's history (May 2nd, 2015 to May 10th, 2015) and the second largest in number of people deployed to fight the flames. The impacts reached large part of Baixada Santista, mobilizing various organizations concerned about the social, environmental and economic impacts damage. In this way, the project aims to study the multiple views about the disaster through interviews with representatives of municipalities of Santos and Cubatão, company representatives, the fire department, and organizations and institutes involved in the containment, prevention, mitigation and assessment of disaster. Also aims to conduct an ethnographic research with residents of the fishermen´s village in Cubatao, severely impacted by the death of fish coming of the estuary impacted by fire on Ultracargo. The theories used to contextualization and disaster assessment are models of the Normal Accident Theory (NAT) and High Reliability Organizations (HRO).It will also be used the theory of actor-network, so that the study will search a better coping in order to understand the failures and their interactions among multiple human and non-human entities. (AU)

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