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Human Factors Causing Accidents

Last updated: March 25, 2019

What Does Human Factors Causing Accidents Mean?

Human factors causing accidents are factors that contribute to an accident and are directly attributable to the operator, worker, or personnel involved in an accident.

The human factors include but also go beyond wilful violations of safety rules or blatantly engaging in risky behavior. They include factors such as inattention, fatigue, and impairment from drugs or alcohol.

Safeopedia Explains Human Factors Causing Accidents

It is important to consider and assess the human factors when investigating an accident. But this by no means condones or advocates placing blame on the workers. Many of the human factors causing accidents are not wilful behaviors.

Human factors are responsible for large number of accidents that occur in a workplace. The following human factors are common causes of accidents:

  • Memory lapses (including forgetting a step in the work process or a safety measure)
  • Impaired judgment or reduced reasoning power
  • Inattention or distraction
  • Delayed or false sensation of the sensory organs
  • Lack of competence and experience
  • Skill level inadequate for the task performed
  • Personality or attitude, such as negligence, arrogance, or overconfidence
  • Poor risk perception due to poor knowledge and experience

Accidents caused by human factors may be prevented or reduced by implementing the following preventative measures:

  • Training and awareness
  • Supervision, monitoring, and controlling
  • Feedback and reports
  • Frequent inspections and audits
  • Skill development
  • Education

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