Essential factors model
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An essential factor is one which when removed from, or added to, an incident sequence will interrupt that sequence.
A contributing factor is one which increases the likelihood that the sequence of factors will continue but is not essential to the damage.
Every incident has essential factors associated with people, equipment and environment giving the 100% paradigm:
100% / 100% / 100% paradigm –
- 100% of incidents include “people” factors
- 100% of incidents include “equipment” factors
- 100% of incidents include “environment” factors
It is the purpose of the Essential Factors model to attempt to use value-neutral language to give maximum “meaning” and minimum “affect”. This will not always be the case but it is suggested that the use of the word “cause” and “human error” by an accident investigator during data collection and interview phases, will have a potentially greater negative response than the use of alternative words.
All essential factors differ in controlability. Each essential factor, once identified is able to be reviewed for potential points of control. That is potential ways in which to reduce the risk of that incident re-occurring.
- "Essential Safety | InterSafe - International safety, ergonomics and forensic engineering". Intersafe.com.au. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
- Geoff McDonald & Associates Pty Ltd, HAZARD EVALUATION USING ESSENTIAL FACTORS METHODOLOGY, May 1991
- Vidmark Productions Limited, THE ESSENTIAL FACTORS OF ACCIDENTS
- Ergonomics Society of Aust. ed (1994) ERGO WEEK 1994, INVESTIGATION FOR PREVENTION, UNDERSTANDING CONTRIBUTORY FACTORS: MYTHS VS REALITY, PH&Assoc, Qld.