Accident Causation Theories

Accident vs Incident
• An ACCIDENT is: an actual unplanned event and has a specific
outcome (ie a window cleaner dropping a bucket from a height,
which caused injury to a person underneath)
• An INCIDENT: is an undesired circumstance which COULD cause
an accident – or have the POTENTIAL to cause an accident.
– Sometimes these events are called a ‘near miss’.
– It is ‘any event, which under slightly different circumstances, may have resulted
in injury or ill health of people or damage or loss to property, plant, materials or
the environment or a loss of business opportunity. (ie the window-cleaner drops
a bucked from height, which just missed a person standing underneath, would be
classes as a ‘near miss’ incident. This incident did not cause an injury to a
person, but under slightly different circumstances (the person standing nearer to
the contact point) the person may be been injured…



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