It has been the singular achievement of W.G. Carson’s work to situate the inseparable relations of safety issues in the workplace and their industrial relations context within a broader political economy. For this alone, the contemporary field of working environment studies owes Carson a singular debt. Above all, in his path-breaking study The Other Price of Britain’s Oil, Carson established the necessity for interdisciplinary studies which encompass safety science, the sociology of labour, regulatory analysis and corporate crime.1 When Carson published his work in the early 1980s, just over 100 workers had been killed in the offshore oil industry. Today, some 20 years later, that figure stands in excess of 500. At the time Carson completed his prescient analysis, there had been no major multiple fatality incident in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea, although everything in The Other Price pointed to its inevitability. In his ‘Afterword’ to our later study of the offshore regime, Carson reflected that the lack of such an incident at that time deprived his work a degree of empirical credibility. However, while hindsight provides wisdom to those who should have known better, for Carson it afforded ‘no satisfaction from having being right all along’.2 Today, and until the last drop of North Sea oil has been extracted, the tragic legacy of the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster will haunt this industry. Yet the continuing price of Britain’s oil is due to more than the disasters which have scarred the lives of so many in this industry. It is in the ongoing routine of a avoidable deaths and their mundane causes that Carson effectively analysed at an earlier stage of the North Sea saga and yet which remain today an ever present and grim reality.