Analysis of “Accident” experience


Analysis of “Accident” experience

Many organisations analyse their “Accident” experience in the hope of gaining insight into how to prevent their problems. Most organisations will not have sufficient serious “Accident” experience to make statistically significant determinations.

1. Damage to people at work has a number of adverse outcomes:-

§ Financial loss to employer, worker and community

§ Pain and suffering

§ Dislocation of lives

§ Permanence of death

2. Damage to people from work falls naturally into one of three Classes.

Class I damage permanently alters the person’s life and subdivides into

– fatal

– non fatal

Class II damage temporarily alters the person’s life

Class III damage temporarily inconveniences the person’s life (Geoff McDonald & Associates)


This is an incredibly simple technique that it is rare to find used. Essentially a taxonomy is a collection of like. The most well known taxonomy is the phylum of plants, their botanical names.

Awhile back I was associated with a taxonomy of the more significant personal damage occurrences in the Qld mining industry which I thought was particularly effective in setting priorities for the industry. It is important to do the taxonomy on an industry basis as it is unlikely even the big companies will have enough of the more serious events to be able to develop statistically significant determinations.

The Qld mining industry has a standard personal damage occurrence report form that is sent to the inspectorate. The hard copies of the forms were obtained and sorted into like, ie the spinal column damages caused by driving a haultruck were put together ,the spinal column damage caused by lifting gas cylinders were put together, the eye injuries caused by grinding were put together and so on. The personal damage occurrences were then examined for their frequency, severity and the essential factors (An essential factor is one without which the final damage could not have occurred) This process gives insight into where your principal problems are occurring and guides preventative action.

In these days of computerised data systems I still feel it is necessary to go back to the original hard copy or a scanned in copy.

Examination of personal damage occurrences on an industry basis can provide meaningful insight into your safety problems.


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