The Domino Theory is a theory used by Health and Safety practitioners to show how accidents or incidents happen in the workplace, which has direct application for Reputational Risk Managers. For those of you who have ever played dominos or have seen it being stacked at Guinness Book of World Records events, will know that there are a number of rules vital to domino playing: You have to line them up correctly. If you line them up correctly, they'll fall down nicely. Line them up incorrectly, and they won't fall against each other. You've got to push the first domino in the right direction. When you knock over the first domino, be ready for the rest of them to fall. They will fall, and if you are not ready. Health & Safety specialists use this theory to demonstrate how an accident happens. This is how they depict it: • The first domino is the failure to maintain work performance standards; • The second domino relates to personal and job factors, which leads to; • The third domino - unsafe practices and unsafe conditions which leads to; • The fourth domino - types of incidents which leads to; • The fifth domino falling which leads to injury, illness or property damage. Thus the thread of an accident can be seen through a series of distinct stages. And so can most reputational incidents or accidents. The most important domino - LACK OF MANAGEMENT CONTROL - is the domino that starts up the whole process. Shall we apply this to the Ford - Firestone debacle? Does your company have in place the necessary controls for preventing potential reputational incidents? I bet not. If not! Let me not scare you. Soon the domino WILL fall. Don't believe me? Do me a favor - for the next three (3) weeks cut out as many references to reputational issues out of all your available newspapers and other media, then make a collage out of it. Maybe then you will believe me. If not, then look up Ford - Firestone! Ask Union Carbide! Ask Exxon! Ask Johnson & Johnson etc, etc, etc. Proof that bad things can and do happen to good companies. Deon Binneman, managing member of REPUCOMM in Johannesburg, South Africa, is a Speaker, Trainer & Consultant specializing in Reputation Management and Strategic Communication Counseling. To subscribe to POWERLINES, put the word SUBSCRIBE in the body of an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THEORY OF ACCIDENT CAUSES
ACCIDENTS ARE DEFINED AS UNPLANNED OCCURRENCES WHICH RESULT IN INJURIES, FATALITIES, LOSS OF PRODUCTION OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY AND ASSETS. PREVENTING ACCIDENTS IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT IN THE ABSENCE OF AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE CAUSES OF ACCIDENTS. MANY ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO DEVELOP A PREDICTION THEORY OF ACCIDENT CAUSATION, BUT SO FAR NONE HAS BEEN UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED. RESEARCHERS FROM DIFFERENT FIELDS OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DEVELOP A THEORY OF ACCIDENT CAUSATION WHICH WILL HELP TO IDENTIFY, ISOLATE AND ULTIMATELY REMOVE THE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO OR CAUSE ACCIDENTS. IN THIS ARTICLE, A BRIEF OUTLINE OF VARIOUS ACCIDENT CAUSATION THEORIES IS PRESENTED, FOLLOWED BY A STRUCTURE OF ACCIDENTS. Accident Causation Theories
The domino theory: -
According to W.H. Heinrich (1931), who developed the so-called domino theory, 88 of all accidents are caused by unsafe acts of people, 10% by unsafe actions and 2% by “acts of God”. He proposed a “five-factor accident sequence” in which each factor would actuate the next step in the manner of toppling dominoes lined up in a row. The sequence of accident factors is as follows: 1. Ancestry and social environment
2. Worker fault
3. Unsafe act together with mechanical and physical hazard
5. Damage or injury.
In the same way that the removal of a single domino in the row would interrupt the sequence of toppling, Heinrich suggested that removal of one of the factors would prevent the accident and resultant...