Loss Causation Model

Topics: Energy, Causality, Injury Pages: 7 (2558 words) Published: September 30, 2010
"Loss Causation Model" History, Theory & Application

"Loss Causation Model" History, Theory & Application
Before a loss occurs (Injury, illness, damage, loss in process), there are series of events that take place with a root cause that begins this series of events. The root cause is called a Lack of Control (Inadequate standards, lack of compliance for preparedness, knowledge and skill training, etc). This leads to a basic cause (or personal factor) such as lack of knowledge, stress, inadequate capabilities. This in turn leads to an immediate cause (substandard conditions and actions) such as operating without authority, working under the influence of controlled substances, inadequate barriers. This then leads to an Incident – a fall, a strike, stress, or being in contact with an unfriendly environment. The incidence leads to the loss. The concept of the Loss Causation Model hence is that when a loss occurs, we need to go back that chain, realize that the root cause is not the incident or the immediate cause, and solve the problem from the root cause in order to prevent the loss from reoccurring. There are numerous accident and loss causation models in existence. The two that will be discussing in this report will be H.W. Heinrich’s Domino Theory and the ILCI Loss Causation Model. Loss causation models are used as models for safety and accident prevention theory. Loss causation models provide a direction of focus for the individual interested in reducing injuries in an organization. Heinrich’s principles date back to 1932 and encourage focusing on near misses instead of injury-related incidents to prevent significant losses from occurring. The International Loss Control Institute developed their own model in 1985, the ILCI Loss Causation model, to provide users a tool to control the vast majority of accidents and loss control problems. The ILCI model encourages focusing on development of standards, the measurement and evaluation of standards to ensure they are being followed through by members of the organization, and the continuous update of standards to provide a means to prevent injuries in an organization. A more detailed account of each of these loss causation models follows starting with Heinrich’s theory. Heinrich’s Domino Theory of Loss Causation

In his 1932 book “Industrial Accident Prevention”, H.W. Heinrich wrote that there are five factors in the accident sequence: * The first factor is the social environment and ancestry. Traits such as recklessness, stubbornness, avariciousness, and other undesirable character traits may be passed along through inheritance. * The second factor is the fault of the person. This factor states that inherited or acquired traits of the person; such as violent temper, lack of consideration, ignorance of safe practice, etc., are responsible for the person committing unsafe acts or allowing the existence of mechanical or physical hazards. * The third factor is the unsafe act and/or mechanical or physical hazard. Unsafe acts include standing under suspended loads, failure to adhere to lock-out/tag-out policy, horseplay, and removal of safeguards. Mechanical or physical hazards include such items as unguarded machinery, unguarded pinch points, and insufficient light. * The fourth factor is the accident. The accident includes events such as slips and trips, being struck by flying objects, being caught in machinery, or coming into contact with high energy sources. * The fifth and last factor is the injury. Injuries include fractures, lacerations, etc., that result directly from accidents (Heinrich, 1932). Heinrich then arranges these five factors in a domino fashion such that the fall of the first domino results in the fall of the entire row. The domino arrangement illustrates Heinrich’s notion that each factor leads to the next with the end result being the injury. It also illustrates that if one of the factors (dominos) is removed, the sequence is unable to...
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