The Accident or Incident Theory - Accident Causation
Peterson when reiterating the significance of human factors added such factors as ergonomic traps, the decision to err and system failure like additional causes to accident occurrence. He as well redefined overload as combination of pressure, fatigue, motivation, drugs, alcohol and worry. Ergonomic traps were described as incompatible workstation with shortcomings of size, force, reach and feel. Misjudgement of the risk, unconscious desire to commit error and logical decision based upon misjudged situation were included under decision to err. The decision to err may be conscious and based upon worker's logic or it may be unconscious. A variety of pressures like meeting the deadline, pressure from peers and budget consideration may lead a person to behave in unsafe way.
Peterson in his enunciation stressed on system failure component comprising casual relationship between management policy or decision and safety. It as well emphasizes upon greater and more important role of management in safety by way of making awareness and imparting training to workers. The management may not define the accountability and authority in respect of safety to add to failure of system. The management might erroneously conclude, that "it won't happen here", and this very idea may become the cause of accident. An instance of this theory operating was found in a poultry processing industry with the best professional in safety heading the 0rganisation:He paid personal attention to each detail like training, use of safe cutting instruments, measurement of work and usually made every worker safety conscious. His achievement got him elected to position of president of association of safety managers. His attention was divided among in his own work and duties of president of association. His well-organized outlook and care to serve the association developed the attitude that "it won't happen here" that led to system failure. A large number of workers filed compensation claim for suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, a disease affecting soft tissues due to repetitive work. The company by its own investigator confirmed the system failure and agreed to pay compensation, even though employees themselves were guilty of decision to err.