Structure of Accidents

After having a view of models to understand the accidents or disasters we have to ask key questions on following to correlate the next figure of structure of accident:

  • Lack of control: Has a system adequate programmes, standards, compliance and monitoring for all regulations of safety concerned?
  • Basic causes: Is a proper system is placed to control immediate unsafe acts and unsafe conditions?
  • Contributing/immediate factors: Is a system in place to control substandard acts and practices, poor working conditions? In absence of the above an incident may happen and if not noticed in time with proper remedial actions it may incubate in a disaster.
  • Is proper preparedness, response in place to take care of victims, property and environment? If not then by it should be ensured that proper post disaster plan should be in place including the arrangement for detail investigation to know the causes of accident.

The figure shows the structure of accidents, including the details of immediate causes, contributing causes, types of accidents and results of accidents. This accounting is not exhaustive by any means. However, an understanding of the "cause and effect" relation of the accident-causing factors is required before continuous improvement of safety processes can be undertaken.

The belief that accidents are caused and can be prevented makes it imperative for us to study those factors which are likely to favour the occurrence of accidents. By studying such factors, the root causes of accidents can be isolated and necessary steps can be taken to prevent the recurrence of the accidents. These root causes of accidents can be grouped as "basic" and "immediate" / "contributing". The immediate causes are unsafe acts of the worker and unsafe working conditions. The contributing causes could be management-related factors, the environment and the physical and mental condition of the worker. A combination of causes must converge in order to result in an accident.


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