Accidents Multiple Factor Theory (Bird’s theory): This theory says that a number of factors act together to cause an accident. 

Accidents Immediate Causes: Unsafe acts: Unaware (The worker is Unaware that He / She is doing Unsafe Act. Is easy to remedy: Provide the required information), Unable (Due to many reasons: Physical and / or mental unsuitability for the job, Lack of training, Unsafe equipment, Unsafe  working environment), Unmotivated (Due to Lack of enough money to satisfy materialistic needs, No Involvement in vital tasks, Lack of Job Satisfaction: a lot of responsibilities & no authority, No Involvement in decision making) and Unsafe conditions: Unidentified (Inspection either carried out infrequently or carried out by Un-experienced team), Unreported (Due to Lack of knowledge about how to report, user un- friendly reporting procedures, No action taken after previous reporting, Fear of retribution due to culture of blame), Uncorrected (Due to poor safety culture, management not giving safety first priority).

Accidents Underlying Causes: Lack of Supervision, Lack of Training, Lack of Information and Instruction, Poor Housekeeping.

Multiple factor theory Example: A person in a hurry walks through a poorly lit area and trips over a piece of wood.                                  

Many Questions require answers: Was there a necessity for that person to walk in that area?, Was there a safer route?, If the person was not in a hurry would they have been more aware and avoided the wood?,  If the area was better lit would the person have avoided the wood?,  Could the wood have been removed?

Accidents Theory (Heinrich theory): In 1931 Heinrich postulated his famous theory of accident causation that people not things cause accidents

Accidents are caused directly only by Unsafe acts of persons as well as Unsafe physical conditions. Unsafe acts and conditions are caused only by Faults of persons. Faults of persons are created by Social environment or Ancestry.

Domino Theory

The root cause of over 95% of accidents are due to human factor. 

Human Factor Examples: Human perception, motivation and attitudes, Mental and physical capabilities of people, Interactions of individuals with their jobs and their working environments, Influence of equipment and system design on human performance, Organizational characteristics which influence  safety-related behavior at work.

Human Error: People do not make errors simply because they are careless or in attentive, Often people have understandable (even though incorrect) reasons for acting the way they did.

The following are probable causes of human error:

Inadequate information: Is a common reason leading to ignorance by the employee of the process and the potential consequences of their actions.   

Inadequate Design: Can lead to human error: Failure to take account of human fallibility at the design stage of all plant and systems of work. Where the potential for error cannot be designed out then compliance with safety systems should be made easy, systems designed to fail-safe. Designers of plant, processes or systems of work must also take into account human factors and attempt to predict the way people may react when making safety related decisions. If consequences are unacceptable, then systems should be designed to tolerate failure or minimize their effects. Mistakes such as forgetting to do something are foreseeable and should be considered.

Types of Human Error:

Lapses of Attention: Intentions and objectives are correct and the proper course of action is selected but a slip occurs in performing it.

Mistaken Actions: Doing the wrong thing, under the impression that it is right.

Misperceptions: Occur when an individual’s capacity to give attention comes under stress or When a pre-conceived diagnosis blocks out sources of information.

Mistaken Priorities: An organization’s objectives and priorities may not be clearly conveyed to and understood by individuals. A crucial area of potential conflict is between safety and other priorities such as production, saving money, etc.

Willfulness: Willfully disregarding safety rules.

Prevention of Human Error (Organizational Factors) Requires: Clear and evident commitment downwards, Systems for identifying human factor error, Procedures for critical work and review systems, Effective monitoring, Effective accident reporting and investigation as well as Active supervision with powers to remedy.

Prevention of Human Error (Job Factors) Requires: What is expected and appraisal of likely error, In design: a balance between human / machine, Proper consideration in procedure presentation, Proper control of the environment, Provide the right tools for the job, Proper scheduling of work patterns, Effective communication both immediate and over time.

Prevention of Human Error (Personal Factors) Requires: Each person has different personal habits, personality, levels of perception, etc. which may lead to unsafe act.

The Systems View of Man: Person imports information from the environment through senses, Process in the brain, Exports or responds by exhibited behavior. The complexity of human beings and their working environment makes it very difficult to trace accidents to one or a small number of individual characteristics. Some studies show relationships between different individual characteristics and an increased level of accidents.

Personal Characteristics include: Compulsiveness, Anxiety Introversion or extroversion, Depression, mental ability, State of health, Disease, Speed of reaction, Fatigue, Habits as Smoking , Drinking.

Unsafe Condition Examples: Physical (Temperature, Lighting, Ventilation, Noise), Chemical (Unlabeled chemicals, Without MSDS, Flammable substances), Biological (Unhygienic place, Improper waste disposal, etc.), Ergonomic (Overcrowded workstation, Improper tool, etc.).

Events required to be reported by law: Injuries, Diseases, Dangerous Occurrences.

What Injury to report? Fatal injuries, Major injuries, Over – 3 – days injury.

Over – 3 – days injury: is the injury that causes absenteeism of the injured worker for more than 3 days , the day of the injury is not included- holidays included.

Examples of Major Injuries: Amputations, Fractures Except finger or toe, Joint Dislocation, Loss of Sight, temporary or permanent, Eye penetrating injuries, Eye burns due to chemical or hot metal, Loss of consciousness, Hospitalization for more than 24 hours.

Fatalities are required to be reported Including fatalities that occur immediately after injuries or which occur within one year of injury.

How to Report? Fatal injuries, Major injuries & Dangerous occurrences (Are to be notified by the quickest practicable means by telephone, fax etc. to the Enforcing authority then a detailed report to be sent within 10 days),  Over-3-days Injuries (No need for Immediate notification, only Send a report within 10 days. It Is better to report all outcomes).

Article keyword: Profile Vital topics


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