Almost every year there is at least one technological disaster that highlights the challenge of managing technological risk. On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia and her crew were lost during reentry into the atmosphere. In the summer of 2003, there was a blackout that left millions of people in the northeast United States without electricity. Forensic analyses, congressional hearings, investigations by scientific boards and panels, and journalistic and academic research have yielded a wealth of information about the events that led up to each disaster, and questions have arisen. Why were the events that led to the accident not recognized as harbingers Why were risk-reducing steps not taken This line of questioning is based on the assumption that signals before an accident can and should be recognized. To examine the validity of this assumption, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) undertook the Accident Precursors Project in February 2003. The project was overseen by a committee of experts from the safety and risk-sciences communities. Rather than examining a single accident or incident, the committee decided to investigate how different organizations anticipate and assess the likelihood of accidents from accident precursors. The project culminated in a workshop held in Washington, D.C., in July 2003. This report includes the papers presented at the workshop, as well as findings and recommendations based on the workshop results and committee discussions. The papers describe precursor strategies in aviation, the chemical industry, health care, nuclear power and security operations. In addition to current practices, they also address some areas for future research.