the Theory of Human Factors (Heinrich, 1931) it suggests that the interaction
of individuals with the work environment, equipment and other contributing
factors leads to adverse effects on work systems, which in turn trigger a
sequence of events ending in an accident. This model encourages firms to invest
in safety training to develop worker skills and safety consciousness. A
significant weakness, however, is that it attributes all system faults to human
error. This theory relates to the overload, inappropriate response, and inappropriate
performance of forecourt service champions. Where their work tasks are beyond
the capability of the worker. The premise here is that human errors cause
accidents. These errors are categorized broadly as overload which means the
work task is beyond the capability of the worker which includes physical and
psychological factors and the influence of environmental factors, internal
factors, and situational factors.
Overload amounts to an imbalance between a person’s
capacity at any given time and the load that person is carrying in a given
state. A person’s capacity is the product of such factors as his or her natural
ability, training, state of mind, fatigue, stress, and physical condition. The
load that a person is carrying consists of tasks for which he or she is
responsible and added burdens resulting from environmental factors (noise,
distractions, and so on), internal factors (personal problems, emotional
stress, and worry), and situational factors (level of risk, unclear
instructions, and so on). The state in which a person is acting is the product
of his or her motivational and arousal levels.
Inappropriate Response and Incompatibility said that a
person responds in a given situation can cause or prevent an accident. If an
employee detects a hazardous condition but does nothing to correct it, he or
she has responded inappropriately. If a person removes a safeguard from a
machine in an effort to increase output, he or she has responded
inappropriately. If an employee disregards an established safety procedure, he
or she has responded inappropriately. Such responses can lead to accidents. In
addition to inappropriate responses, this component includes workstation
incompatibility. The incompatibility of an employee’s workstation with regard
to size, force, reach, feel, and similar factors can lead to accidents and
Human error can be the result of inappropriate
activities. An example of an inappropriate activity is a person who undertakes
a task that he or she doesn’t know how to do. Another example is a person who
misjudges the degree of risk involved in a given task and proceeds based on
that misjudgment. Such inappropriate activities can lead to accidents and
Accident/Incident Theory by Dan Petersen is an extension of the human factors
theory. Petersen introduced such new elements as ergonomic traps, the decision
to err, and systems failures, while retaining much of the human factors theory.
In this model, overload, ergonomic traps, or a decision to err lead to human
error. The decision may be conscious and based on logic, or it may be
unconscious. A variety of pressures such as deadlines, peer pressure, and
budget factors can lead to unsafe behavior. Another factor that can influence
such a decision is the “It won’t happen to me” syndrome. The systems failure
component is an important contribution of Petersen’s theory. First, it shows
the potential for a causal relationship between management decisions or
management behavior and safety. Second, it establishes management’s role in accident
prevention as well as the broader concepts of safety and health in the
workplace. Following are just some of the different ways that systems can fail,
according to Petersen’s theory:
Management does not establish a comprehensive safety policy.
Responsibility and authority with regard to safety are not clearly
Safety procedures such as measurement, inspection, correction, and
investigation are ignored or given insufficient attention.
Employees do not receive proper orientation.
Employees are not given sufficient safety training
According to the Erg Theory the fact that
Clayton Alderfer (1972) stresses on the issue of existence as the priority,
it’s to show the significant importance of safety in every organization. An
employee needs to be alive and safe so as to execute their daily activities in
a very comfortable zone. When employees are safe, they feel intrinsically
motivated and creative thus facilitate the achievement of organizations goals
as well as individual goals. The relevant of Alderfer (1972) ERG Theory to the
present work is that organizations need to design the working environment to be
free from hazards so as to keep their employees safe and alive in other for
them to be able to attain the goals of the organization as well as their goals.
Workers perform well when they are safe and satisfied. The physical environment
must be free from hazards. Working conditions also have to be favorable so as
to boost employee’s morale.
Accident models affect the way people think about safety,
how they identify and analyze risk factors and how they measure performance.
They can be used in both reactive and proactive safety management and many
models are based on an idea of causality. Accidents are thus the result of
technical failures, human errors or organizational problems. (Hovden, Albrechtsen and Herrera, 2010).
Accident is an unplanned or uncontrolled event in which
action or reaction of an object, material, or person results in either personal
injury or property damage, or both. (Newstrom and Bittel 2002).
distinguished from disease, are equally susceptible to this approach, meaning
that our understanding of accidents would benefit by recognizing that accidents
are caused by a combination of forces from at least three sources, which are
the host – and man is the host of principal interest – the agent itself, and
the environment in which host and agent find themselves. (Gordon 1949).