Definition, Causes and Types of Accident


Definition, Causes and Types of Accident

One of the most outstanding health problems in Nigeria society today is accidents of different types. Every year, thousands of persons are killed in one form of accident or the other, several hundred are maimed and countless others are injured with no one coming out to provide an unquestionable solution to the problem. 

In this post, you will be exposed to, the different types of accidents, their causes and how they can be prevented and also by the end of the post, you should be able to defined accident, review the patterns of accidents in the community and its causes and how it can be prevented


Definition of Accident

In the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) there is no definition of an accident but the Health and Safety Executive states that “in relation to RIDDOR, an accident is a separate, identifiable, unintended incident, which causes physical injury”.

This specifically includes violence to people at work and at home. Accidents have been described as unintended happenings or occurrences.

The truth of the matter is that accidents, while indeed unplanned or unintended, accidents are in most cases also caused events.

Accidents are undesirable, unplanned, uncontrolled and unexpected events that can cause damage to property(s), injury(s), and death.

Accidents are unpremeditated events resulting in recognizable damage. Accidents are events that could have been prevented if the circumstances leading to it had been recognized, and acted upon before its occurrence. That is, accidents are caused as a result of actions or inactions of humans.

Their causes can often be predicted and controlled.

The fact that most accidents are from predictable and controllable causes and that they are unplanned does not imply that they have to occur in an unexpected and un-provided for manner.

Safety education/Accident Prevention Education should in fact consist of:

1. Expecting accident

2. Reducing their probability

3. Providing means to reduce their consequences.

Accidents throughout the world have reached an epidemic proportion; they are a major cause of death and disability in Nigeria.

Therefore, the discussion of accidents in whatever setting is important because of the following reasons:

a. Accidents can be evaluated appropriately from an environmental health perspective for the purpose of prevention.

b. Most accidents are avoidable by appropriate action on the part of the informed individuals and groups.

c. Accidents are among the foremost causes of death of persons and damage or loss of properties in the globe.

d. Our social environment can become the most dangerous of the accident causation components if we fail to correct the existing hazards in it.

e. Everyone should accept responsibility for his/her own safety and for the safety of others by his/her own actions at all times.

f. Safety rules must be stringently adhered to in order to prevent man made accidents.

g. Accidents occur more often in certain age groups, at certain times of the day and week, at certain localities.

h. Some persons are more prone to accidents than others and susceptibility is increased by the effect of alcohol and other drugs as well as a physiological state such as fatigue.


Causes of Accidents

Definition, Causes and Types of Accident

Accidents are complex phenomena of multiple causations.

The factors responsible for accidents can be classified into two broad categories i.e. the human and environmental factors.


Human factors causing accidents

1.   Age

2.   Sex

3.   Education

4.   Medical Conditions:

      a. Sudden ulcer

      b. Heart attack

      c. Impaired vision

5.   Fatigue

6.   Psychosocial factors:

      a. Lack of experience

      b. Risk taking

      c. Defective judgment

      d. Aggressiveness

      e. Poor perception

      f. Family dysfunction

7.   Lack of body protection:

      a. Helmets

      b. Safety belts


Human factors causing accidents

1. Relating to Road:

    a. Defective, narrow roads

    b. Detective layout of cross roads and speed breakers

    c. Poor lightning

    d. Lack of familiarity

2. Relating to Vehicle:

    a. Excessive speed

    b. Old, poorly maintained

    c. Overloading

    d. Low driving standards

3. Bad weather

4. Inadequate enforcement of existing laws

Classification of accidents could either be according to the location of occurrence or according to the immediate activity that caused them. In this particular write-up, different types of accidents would be looked into.

Modern Occupational Health and Safety practitioners focus heavily on a risk-based approach to accident prevention, as do insurance providers. The common “hierarchy of hazard controls” is a model which illustrates the effectiveness of different types of accident prevention methodologies.

For example, the elimination of the hazard is the most effective form of controlling risk, while the use of personal protective equipment is the least effective.

According to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE), accident prevention efforts used to focus primarily on advancing the quality of technology and equipment in order to reduce safety measures. 

However, investigations into various significant accidents demonstrated that much of the problem was related to poor safety management practices This recognition has led to the development of integrated approaches to safety management that embed safety behaviors into the regular working process.

When an accident occurs, it is important to investigate the events that led up to the accident in order to fully understand its cause.

This form of investigation is referred to as a root-cause analysis, and is a critical part of accident prevention—uncovering an accident’s root causes enables an employer to address those causes so that they cannot occur again.

Occupational safety is an important element of workplace productivity, and therefore an important aspect of cost-management.

According to the U.S. National Safety Council, the yearly cost of injuries and deaths to the U.S. economy is $170.8 billion annually.

The American Society of Safety Engineers estimates that for every dollar a company must pay directly due to an accident, they will incur between one to twenty additional dollars in indirect costs.


Types of accidents

Definition, Causes and Types of Accident

If you have had an accident, no matter what type, then you need expert legal advice from accredited personal injury lawyers.

Our specialist legal team handle claims for those injured in accidents every day of the week.

1. Accidents at Work

You may have been involved in an accident whilst at work. This may include accidents due to faulty machinery or equipment, lack of training or supervision, lack of protective safety equipment or unsafe premises. Employers must provide a safe working environment and failure to do so leaves the employer liable to compensate any employee who suffers an injury in the workplace.

Aegis Legal have specialist, accredited personal injury lawyers experienced in dealing with accidents of this type.

2. Slip/Trip Claims (public liability)

You may have suffered an injury on a public footpath or road due to its poor condition. You may have been slipped or tripped in a shop, restaurant or other public place. Aegis Legal will help recover compensation for you.

3. Industrial Diseases and Illnesses

These are usually caused by the conditions in your working environment such as dust or fumes and through working with hazardous substances.

Aegis Legal have lawyers who specialize in asbestos related diseases, industrial deafness, breathing and respiratory problems.

We can claim compensation from your employers at the time that exposed workers to conditions that caused or contributed to their ill-health.

3. Road Traffic Accidents

You may have suffered an injury in a road accident, whether as a driver, a passenger, a pedestrian or cyclist.

Aegis Legal will assist you in recovering compensation for your injuries, together with the repayment of any financial losses you have incurred, including vehicle repairs, lost earnings, etc. In addition, we can help arrange replacement hire vehicle and medical treatment.

4. Accidents Abroad

You may have suffered an injury on holiday or whilst in another country. You may have been injured on a cruise or on an aero plane.  You may have been slipped or tripped in a hotel, restaurant or other public place. Aegis Legal will help recover compensation for you as we have Solicitors that specialize in accidents abroad.

5. Accidents involving Animals

If you have been injured as a result of an accident involving an animal – whether injured from a fall from a horse, bitten by a dog, then our specialist Solicitors can help you with a claim for compensation.

Sports Related Injuries

Aegis Legal have Solicitors that specialize in sports related injuries – whether you are a professional or amateur sportsperson, or your child has had an accident at school during PE.

6. Clinical Negligence

If you have suffered because of the negligence of a medical professional, then Aegis Legal have specialist Solicitors that can help – not only recover compensation, but arrange as far as possible to have any medical procedure put right.

7. Other Injury Claims

Aegis Legal have specialist lawyers who deal with other injury claims, including:-

•    Physical assaults and other criminal injuries,
•    Sexual or physical abuse
•    Actions against the Police
•    Defective products
•    Fatal Accidents

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