100 years. No progress.

Year 2013. Promotion for a safety conference.  “…most accidents occur from people not paying attention… Research has identified that 95% of incidents are caused by very specific behavioural patterns…”

Year 1910.  Crystal Eastman’s characterisation of the archetypical response of an industrial manager shows how she found the victim-blaming paradigm embedded among managers.  “So you’ve come to Pittsburgh to study accidents, have you?” says the superintendent, or the claim agent, or the general manager, as the case may be.  “Well, I’ve been in this business fifteen years and I can tell you one thing right now,-95 per cent of our accidents are due to the carelessness of the man who gets hurt.  Why, you simply wouldn’t believe the things they’ll do.  For instance, I remember a man,”-and he goes on to relate the most telling incident he knows, to prove his assertion.”  (p. 84)

Eastman, C. 1910, Work Accidents and the Law, New York Charities Publication Committee, New York.



About John Culvenor

Hi, Thank you for taking a look at this blog. I work in engineering, ergonomics, creativity, design, training, etc. Often this is about helping solve legal puzzles through accident analysis. Sometimes it is about thinking up better designs for equipment, workplaces, and systems. This blog is about good design and bad design, accident analysis and how it can be done better, and how we can make a better, safer world by design!
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