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Industrial Health & Safety

Accident Prevention
and
Theories of Accident Causation
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Economic cost of accidents
1 death RM1.2 million
1 permanent disability RM120,000
4% of the worlds gross domestic product is lost with the
cost of injury, death and disease through absence from
work, sickness treatment, disability and survivor benefit
Cost of one death is estimated to be 1.2 million with 1231
occupational deaths in 2009 the national loss is 1.4 billion


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Source:

Nor Ghani Md. Nor, Ahmad Zainuddin Abdullah, Radin Umar R. S. and Hussain H. (1999) Use of Exposure Control Methods to Tackle
Motorcycle Accidents in Malaysia. Research Report 3. Motorcycle Safety Program. Ministry of Transport, Malaysia.

Mohd Faudzi Mohd Yusoff, Nor Ghani Md. Nor and Radin Umar Radin Sohadi (2001) The Value Of Life And Accident Costing: A
Willingness To Pay Study Amongst Young Motorcyclists In Malaysia. Journal of East Asia Society for Transportation Studies,
Vol 4,No. 5, 275-284.
Accident Prevention


Why do we need to learn these theories?

At the end of any investigation, accidents
are mostly attributed to human
negligence/error/mistakes etc.

So?
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Accident prevention

I have planned carefully..
I followed all the steps
I can even do this job with my eyes closed..
It comes naturally to me
You know what you are doing.
So nothing could go wrong right?
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Causes of Accidents?
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Unlucky?

Human
Error?


Mistakes?


What else?
Current Scenario?
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Theories of Accident Causation

Domino Theory

Human Factors Theory

Accident / Incident Theory

Epidemiological Theory

Systems Theory

Combination Theory
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Domino Theory










Source: http://www.hrdp-idrm.in
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Domino Theory
Social and ancestry factors

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Domino Theory
Fault of person
(careless)

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Domino Theory
Unsafe acts/mechanical
/physical hazard
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Domino Theory
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th
domino = Accidents
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Domino Theory
Last domino = Injury
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Domino Theory

Two Central Points

Injuries are caused by the actions of preceding
factors.

Removal of the central factor (unsafe act or
hazardous condition) negates the action of the
proceeding factors; and in doing so, prevents
accidents and injuries.

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Conclusion?
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Heinrichs Axioms of Industrial Safety

1. Injuries result from a series of preceding factors.

2. Accidents occur as the result of physical hazard
or an unsafe act.

3. Most accidents are the result of unsafe behavior.

4. Unsafe acts and hazards do not always result in
immediate accidents and injuries.

5. Understanding why people commit unsafe acts
helps to establish guidelines for corrective actions.

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Heinrichs Axioms of Industrial Safety

6. Injury severity largely happens by chance
and the accident that caused it is preventable.

7. Best accident prevention techniques are analogous to
best quality / productivity techniques.

8. Management should assume safety responsibilities.

9. The supervisor is the key person in the prevention of
industrial accidents.

10. Cost of accidents include both direct costs and
indirect costs.
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Conclusion?


What can we conclude from Heinrichs Industrial
Axioms?

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Human Factors Theory

This theory describes the a chain of events that
leads to accidents ultimately caused by human
error.

Three broad factors leading to human error
Overload
Inappropriate Responses
Inappropriate Activities
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Overload


Workers
Capacity



Task load/burden
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Overload
Workers Capacity -
Natural Ability, Training,
State of Mind,
Fatigue, Stress, Physical
Condition

Load/Burdens:
Environmental Factors -
Noise, Climatic, Lighting,
Distractions, etc

Internal Factors -
Personal Problems,
Emotional Stress, Worry

Situational Factors -
Level of Risk, Unclear
Instructions, Novelty, etc

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Inappropriate Responses

Ignores a suspected hazard

Disregards established safety procedures

Circumvents safety devices

Includes incompatibility with persons
workstation
Size, Required Force, Reach, Feel, etc

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Inappropriate Activities

Performing tasks without requisite training

Misjudging the degree of risk
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Accident/Incident Theory

Petersens Extension to the Human Factors
Theory
Adds new elements -
Ergonomic Traps
Decision to Err
System Failures

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Petersens
Overload
System Failure
Injury / Damage
Accident
Human Error
Ergonomic Traps Decsion to Err
Accident / Incident Theory
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Overload

Pressures
Deadlines, Budget Factors, Peer Pressure
Fatigue
Motivation
Drugs
Alcohol
Worry
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Ergonomic Traps

Incompatible Workstation

Incompatible Expectations
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Decision to Err

Misjudgment of Risks

Unconscious Desire to Err

Logical Decision Based on Situation /
Circumstances

Superman Syndrome (It wont happen to me!)
- Bulletproof, Invincible, Immortal, Lucky
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System Failures

Potential for causal relationship between
managerial decisions/behaviors regarding safety

Policies
Responsibilities
Training
Inspections
Corrective Actions
Standards
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Epidemiological Theory

Traditional approaches focused on
accidents and resulting injuries.

Current trend includes a broader perspective of
industrial hygiene issues.

Industrial Hygiene concerns environmental issues
that can lead to sickness, disease, impaired
health.
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Epidemiological Models

Used to study causal relationships between
environmental factors and disease.

Theory supposes these models are also
appropriate for studying the casual relationships
between environmental factors and accidents.

Note: Causal NOT Correlational Relationships !!!

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Epidemiological Theory
Can cause or prevent accident conditions
Predispositional
Characteristics
Situational
Characteristics
Epidemiological Theory
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Systems Theory of Causation

System is a group of interacting and interrelated
components that form a unified whole.

Host (People) Agent (Machinery) Environment

The likelihood of an accident occurring is
determined by how these components interact.

Changes in the patterns of interaction can
increase or decrease the probability of an
accident occurring.
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Firenzies Systems Theory

Person/Machine/Environment

Information Gathering

Risks Assessment

Decision Making

Task Performance

Stressors can cloud the judgment during information
gathering, risk weighing, decision making processes.
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Stressors
Firenzies Recommendations

Consider Five Factors -
before beginning the process of information
gathering, risk weighing, decision making.

Job Requirements
Workers Abilities and Limitations
Gain from Successful Task Completion
Loss if Task Attempted but Results in Failure
Loss if Task is Not Attempted
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Combination Theory of Causation

Theories and models are not necessarily
reality.

A single theory may not suit all circumstances.

Some theories address particular problems
better than other theories.

A combination of theories and models may be
the optimal approach toward problem
solutions.
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