Causes of accidents can be broadly decided under the following four broad classifications:-

(a) Intrinsic Causes (Job Contents):

These are the causes of accidents arising out of job content. For e.g.: Fire accident and over exposure to heat; fall from tall towers; accidents due to incompetence and lack of adequate training.


(b) Extrinsic Causes (Environmental):

These are causes arising out of the work context (environment). For e.g.: Lack of adequate lights and ventilation resulting in accidents; work and stress due to anxiety, monotony and fatigue; poor layout and faulty location of equipment, tools and work station etc.

(c) Personal Causes:

These are the causes contributed by individual workers which are influenced by their own individual personality contributed by physical, mental, psychological and physiological factors. E.g. Lack of knowledge and skill; lack of physical characteristics like stamina or any physiological infirmity; poor mental health manifested in the form of alcoholism and drug addiction.


(d) Exogenous Causes:

Causes which are not covered under a, b and c above are classified as exogenous causes for e.g.—Act of God, Floods, Earthquakes, enemy actions etc.

Accident Prevention Steps:

National safety council, USA, has laid down approach to accident prevention.


This involves following aspects:

i. Engineering

ii. Education, and

iii. Enforcement.


Basically preventive methods come under the following two broad classifications:

i. Reducing unsafe conditions, and

ii. Reducing unsafe Acts.

Unsafe conditions can be reduced by proper “engineering” or work centers, machines, equipment, tools and layout. Majority of accidents are caused by human failure. “Education” and “Enforcement” are the other two methods to prevent human errors.


Education involves training and development, conducting safety weeks, publishing publicity materials on safety and many other steps are helpful to inculcate a safety consciousness in the minds of employees. “Enforcement involves positive and negative actions encouraging acts of promoting safety and discouraging reckless/ unsafe acts by punishment and disciplinary actions. Examples are enforcement in the use of safety clothes, goggles and slippers/ shoes.