Psychology and prevention of accidents


Without an understanding of the causes of accidents is almost impossible to prevent them.

88% of all accidents (according to WH Heinrich) caused by improper personnel actions, and only 10% of the unreliability of equipment and 2% of “force majeure” circumstances. Heinrich VH It was proposed “five-factor sequence” of accidents:

  1. origins and social conditions;
  2. Error working;
  3. improper actions in conjunction with mechanical and physical danger;
  4. accident;
  5. damage or injury.

In this sequence, each factor activates the subsequent, similar to the fall in the number of set dominoes. But one of the factors to prevent accidents and injury caused to them, as the removal of a series of dominoes can stop them from falling. This key sequence of the third factor is “improper actions in conjunction with mechanical and physical danger.”

The nature of human involvement in accidents is different in nature, timing and significance in the structure of the causes of accidents. Most often, the human factor, in the form of a limited number of pre-existing imperfect production system generates the main causes of accidents were fatal. These reasons combined with the subsequent technical mistakes and failures or adverse environmental conditions, and result in an accident.

The most important link in the structure of the safety measures of human activity [1-3] is the psychology of safety, which is one of the sections of the psychology of work.

Before human society at all stages of its development task was to improve the efficiency of the labor process, improving the ways and means of production necessary for its existence. In this task, there are two ways that the two planned production due to any labor process: on the one hand, it is always a matter for which directed human effort, on the other – the subject, the person carrying out these efforts.

The first way – is the optimization that is associated with the object of labor – the means, working conditions, and the second – is related to the knowledge of the subject of work, that is human the necessity of disclosure and taking into account its physiological, biological, social, psychological, and other properties.

The system of subjective characteristics of the labor process is indicated by the concept of the human factor. For the psychologist the most significant feature of labor rights is that it is always purposeful, conscious, active, socially formed.

Labor rights is a unity of mental and physical. At the same time it implies purpose, action plans and labor movements.

The activity of a person are physiological and biochemical processes in its body, and particularly in the cerebral cortex. Any attempts to ignore that specific to the activities of unity leads to a simplified understanding of it.

There are three types of psychic phenomena that should be studied only in unity with the human activity in general:

  • mental processes,
  • mental states,
  • personality traits.

The goals that in the activity puts people can be as remote, common and more intimate, specific. Therefore, the notion of “activities” – is quite broad. For example, the goal of working – carve detail. However, in order to carve it, it is necessary to implement a number of actions, each of which also has a purpose: to start up the machine, push the cutter and so on.

Action – is an element of activity, in which a specific goal is achieved. Some actions are formed at once, without exercise, only on the basis of understanding of the problem. However, there are actions that are formed only in the process of exercise – it skills.

Skill, forming in the process of exercises, automated, although not under the control comes out of consciousness, and in the process of its implementation turns into a conscious goal. Skill combines the action and the physiological and psychological phenomenon. It is a physiological mechanism neurodynamic stereotype, which is a conditional reflex connections in the cerebral cortex produced during exercise habit. But every skill has its psychological structure, which includes the goal of action, the intention to achieve it, a certain organization of perception, attention, thinking, memory, communication, sensory and motor components of movement, the degree of voluntary efforts and so on.

No sane person does not want him to have an accident. And at the same time global statistics testifies overwhelming majority of such cases is the fault of the victims themselves.

Psychological causes of accidents subject to study, and thus prevention. After studying their nature, psychological science opens the way organizations secure work provides effective practical recommendations useful as the production managers and direct executors of the so-called “risky” jobs.

Work experience is a common object of study for disciplines such as, for example, industrial hygiene, occupational physiology, economics, engineering and other sciences. Each of these disciplines, using specialized knowledge, tools and methods, seeks to solve practical problems, to rationalize work, including on increasing its security.

Psychology investigates the safety of the human psyche, which allows him to exercise and regulate his career, giving it a safe manner.

Any activity is subjective. In this case, a subjectivity is understood not only the willingness to perform certain actions on their own, do unplanned, and in some cases spontaneously, unpredictably, but also the willingness to recognize its spontaneity, that is reflective of its activities.

The purpose of psychology is the study of security ore psyche the subject of work, his mental processes, status, personality traits, which are a necessary component of the internal work and make it safe.

Safe work is largely a psychological problem. So international statistics show [4] that in 96% of the causes of injuries are dangerous acts (the so-called “human factor”) and only 4% are unsafe working conditions.

There are four main reasons for the increase in the number and severity of accidents at the present stage:

  1. – A significant increase in the number and level of hazards at work and reducing the direct human physical abilities to confront these dangers;
  2. – A significant increase in prices of error;
  3. – Human adaptation to the dangers of his work (the constant communication with the technique dulls a person a sense of danger);
  4.   A violation of labor safety rules (man adapts not only to the dangers, but also to violations of the rules).

However, not every security breach entails an accident. It sounds paradoxically, has a negative side. So people once broke the rules with impunity and get through some of the gains in labor, then to find new benefits will again repeat such violations. Gradually, people are getting used to operate with violations of the rules without thinking about the fact that the violation may eventually end accident.

Consequently, there are a number of objective reasons, contributing to the growth in the number and severity of accidents. A study of these reasons, knowledge of some of them, promotes their elimination by discouraging the growth of injuries.

Because of the above reasons are largely psychological, that psychology as a science is becoming one of the most important tools to help the use of the human factor for security in the labor market.

It is important to remember that most of the negative impact of harmful hazards can be reduced by technical and technological measures, mandatory compliance with the established rules of behavior and the willingness of workers to comply with safety.

Main conclusions:

  • you need to constantly monitor the observance of safety rules in all circumstances and with respect to any person, as a man, for a long time is not subject to accident, but work carelessly, as likely would be his victim as an employee for the first time in my life to have been reckless.
  • to ensure safety in addition to real production factors must be considered subjective, such as the individual characteristics of the employee; his emotional state;psychological climate in the workplace; climate in the team, as any deviation in this area even if flawless real working conditions may cause an accident.
  • by taking into account the objective and subjective factors should be possible to seek to eliminate all possibilities of accidents at the workplace.