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Topic: Safety briefings

human factors in accidents
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Human factors in accidents

Safety briefing - human factors in accidents

This briefing explains the human factors which are common causes of accidents at work and how to identify them.

What’s covered?

The aim of this Safety Briefing - Human Factors in Accidents is to give a basic insight into human factors so that the root causes of accidents can be identified and dealt with effectively.

Human failure

There are four categories of human failure. These are deliberate “violation” and three types of human error: “slips”, “lapses” and “mistakes”.

What’s the cause?

The briefing gives some tips on how the causes of human error can be analysed. Those considering the causes of human failure should ask “why?” and keep asking “why?” until the root cause is discovered. Examples are provided in the briefing such as a machine operator who presses the wrong button because they are not familiar with the particular machine.

Four areas of investigation are suggested: (1) workplace design; (2) the task; (3) personnel factors; and (4) organisational factors.

Control measures

The briefing includes a call to action requesting that staff are asked to report any situations where there is a particular risk of human error, and that those tasked with investigating incidents systematically look for root causes rather than blaming human error.

Key points

The key points remind attendees that human failures are responsible for up to 80% of accidents and therefore should not be ignored. The four categories of human failure are reiterated along with the factors to cover during any investigation.

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