Scaled Management Systems

Part 6b – The Concepts of Incident Causation

Part 6b:          Incident Causation Chronology – A Social Perspective

These ideas can now be diagrammatically expressed to look at the human & social perspectives of incident causation. It will be important to remember that social morals & pressures can influence a wide range of people in society, including engineers and managers who design work systems.



1. Social factors:-

  1. Ignorance
  2. Recklessness
  3. Stubbornness
  4. The environment of peer pressure may influence the thinking of all employees, executives, managers & supervisors and even extend to interfering with their willingness to learn about safety.

2. Fault of Person:-

  1. Excitability
  2. Inconsiderate behaviours
  3. Ignoring safety instructions
  4. Nervousness
  5. These ideas represent proximate reasons for committing unsafe acts.

3. Chemical, Mechanical, Physical or ‘Unsafe Act’ Hazards:-

  1. Using hazardous substances when safer alternatives are available
  2. Standing under suspended loads
  3. Unguarded chains, gears, moving parts & pulleys
  4. All of the above contribute directly to incidents occurring.

4. Incident (the event):-

Events such as persons falling off ladders or being struck by flying objects are typical examples that cause injury.

5. Injury (outcome or the end result):-

Fractures, lacerations & fatalities are examples of the observed results directly linked to incidents.

This approach to incident causation differs significantly to an engineering approach which we’ll look at in Part 7 when the two models are combined.