Herbert William Heinrich

Herbert William Heinrich

Herbert William Heinrich is an American industrial safety pioneer from the 1930s. He was an Assistant Superintendent of the Engineering and Inspection Division of Travelers Insurance Company when he published his book "Industrial Accident Prevention, A Scientific Approach" in 1931. [United Steelworkers of America, " [http://www.aflcio.org/issues/safety/issues/upload/BBS501.pdf The Steelworker Perspective on Behavioral Safety] " (Pittsburg, PA, nd, p. 2)] cite journal |author=Hayhurst, ER |title=Review of Industrial Accident Prevention: a Scientific Approach |journal=Am J Public Health Nations Health |volume=22 |issue=1 |pages=119–20 |month=Jan |year=1932 |pmc=1556694] Heinrich's work is the basis for the theory of Behavior-based safety, which holds that as many as 95 percent of all workplace accidents are caused by unsafe acts. Heinrich came to this conclusion after reviewing thousands of accident reports completed by supervisors, who generally blamed workers for causing accidents without conducting detailed investigations into the root causes.

While Heinrich's figure that 88 percent of all workplace accidents and injuries/illnesses are caused by "man-failure" is perhaps his most oft-cited conclusion, his book actually encouraged employers to control hazards, not merely focus on worker behaviors. "No matter how strongly the statistical records emphasize personal faults or how imperatively the need for educational activity is shown, no safety procedure is complete or satisfactory that does not provide for the . . . correction or elimination of . . . physical hazards," Heinrich wrote in his book. [cite book |author=Heinrich HW |title=Industrial accident prevention: a scientific approach |publisher=McGraw-Hill |year=1959 |edition=4th ed. quoted in cite book |author=Grimaldi, John V.; Simonds, Rollin H. |title=Safety management |publisher=R. D. Irwin |location=Homewood, Ill |year=1973 |pages=211 |isbn=0-256-01564-3 |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=] Emphasizing this aspect of workplace safety, Heinrich devoted 100 pages of his work to the subject of machine guarding.

Heinrich did safety work across many industries, with published data, which gives guidelines of how to scale up from incidents and near misses to a good estimate of the probability of real accidents.

In 1961 he received the [http://www.asse.org/professionalaffairs/tech/fellow_awards.php ASSE Fellow] designation from the American Society of Safety Engineers.

Heinrich's classic work has been revised into the more recent book, cite book |author=Roos, Nestor R.; Heinrich, H.; Brown, Julienne; Petersen, Dan; Hazlett, Susan |title=Industrial accident prevention: a safety management approach |publisher=McGraw-Hill |location=New York |year=1980 |pages= |isbn=0-07-028061-4 |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=

See also

* Heinrich's law


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