Learning for life: Accidents at work

Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are the
processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their

There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,
study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.
Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-date
with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifying
what you have learned is not always easy.

These questions are designed to help you to identify what you have learned
from studying the article. They will also help you to clarify what you can
apply to practice, what you did not understand and what you need to explore

1. Accidents occur as a consequence of:

a) Human error
b) Mechanical malfunctioning
c) a and b
d) Neither a or b

2. To be successful in accident prevention, it is important to identify
the link between:

a) Mistakes, human factors and the resulting accident
b) People, mistakes, and human factors
c) Mistakes, people and the resulting accident
d) Human factors, people and the resulting accident

3. Work performance can be adversely affected by:

a) Fatigue, stress and pay
b) Stress, illness and fatigue
c) Illness, fatigue and pay
d) Stress, illness and pay

4. Which of the following is NOT a theory of accident causation?

a) Robens
b) Heinrich
c) Boyle
d) Bird & Loftus

5. What is the most frequent cause of train accidents?

a) Track problems
b) Engine failure
c) External forces (eg weather)
d) Signal errors

6. Which person in charge did the Chernobyl Report identify as knowing
very little about nuclear reactors?

a) Manager
b) Engineer
c) Physicist
d) Scientist

7. Safety management systems must incorporate:

a) Best practice
b) Clinical governance
c) Evidence based practice
d) Financial management

8. Behaviour is influenced by a person’s:

a) Personality, knowledge and experience
b) Personality, knowledge and parentage
c) Parentage, knowledge and experience
d) Personality, parentage and experience

9. The part management plays in accident prevention is?

a) Limited
b) Negligible
c) Unimportant
d) Paramount

10. Accidents result from a complex interplay of:

a) Human factors, party politics and economic influences
b) Human factors, political and union influences
c) Human factors, political and economic influences
d) Human factors, union and economic influences


1) c – see answer to question 10. 2) a 3) b
that is not to say that poor rates of pay may not affect worker performance,
and it could be the cause of stress, illness and fatigue. 4) a – Lord
Robens was responsible for the report that the Health and Safety at work etc.
Act 1974 is based on. Obtain copies of the references in this article and read
about the different models of accident causation. 5) d 6) b 7) c – But
also give thought to the other answers because best practice, governance and
financial management will all influence a company’s management structure and
systems. 8) a – Obtain a copy of HSG48 ‘Reducing error and influencing
behaviour’ from HSE to update your knowledge of human behaviour. 9) d 10) c
– It may be worth looking at some of your workplace accident reports and
considering the different factors that contributed to each accident. You may
find having a discussion with your colleagues and using a ‘brain storming’
approach useful, then discussing what part OH can play in helping to prevent
these accidents.

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