Contributory Factors

There are 3 key factors to be considered when identifying the causes of accidents in the workplace. Sometimes accidents happen because these factors occur at the same time, and they all contribute to the outcome, however human error is the primary cause of accidents at work.


These are associated with the area in which we work and include safe floors, safe entry and exit routes, noise, facilities, space, lighting, heating and ventilation.


These refer to behaviour and ability of the individual, what we do and why we do it. The following human factors can cause injuries:

  • Lack of knowledge – due to insufficient training or instructions.
  • Lack of concentration – due to tiredness, complacency, boredom, monotony or distraction. Drinking alcohol or long working hours can contribute towards this.
  • Horseplay – the workplace is not an area in which to fool around.
  • Lack of capability – sometimes, however well trained, certain people can still not do the job safely.

These are directly related to the job or task and include manual handling of loads, use of equipment and the use of hazardous substances.