This Thesis is a review of the industrial safety literature. It commences by looking at the official injury and fatality statistics in order to gain an appreciation of the magnitude of the problem. Definitions of "accident" are investigated' and for this work the term includes "near accidents" i.e. where no injury or damage occurs. The advantages of such an approach are discussed.
The introduction also looks at 'the consequences of accidents. Whilst many companies on1y consider the direct costs of damage caused, compensation paid, etc., many indirect costs 'are also incurred and these are discussed. Individuals have the obvious costs of personal suffering where injury is sustained and, in many instances, financial loss. Furthermore, there is evidence indicating that personality disorders may also result. Finally, the social costs are investigated. These stem from the community paying higher prices for goods as firms seek to recover the costs of industrial accidents, and the use of hospitals, welfare department and the like by injured employees.
Chapter Two takes issue with the concept of accident proneness. Evidence is presented indicating that the small group of accident repeaters is a constantly shifting one over time, workers dropping out of the accident group and new ones continually coming in.
In order- to provide a conceptual framework with which to link the various factors in the dynamic accident process, Chapter Three reviews the, many and varied models of accidents which have been put forward by researchers.
THE INFLUENCE OF WORK ENVIRONMENT.
Chapter Four draws together studies which have been carried out on the work environment. In this regard the variables of thermal stress, illumination, noise, hours of work and acceleration are considered in relation to their effect on accident frequency and accident severity.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL'S PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS.
Studies relating to the variables of age, experience, sex, health and physical defects, alcoholism and drugs are considered in Chapter Five.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL'S PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS.
In Chapter Six, variables of a psychological nature are investigated for their influence on accident frequency and severity rates. The particular variables considered are intelligence, perception and motor ability, personality, and emotional factors.