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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Frances Perkins, Secretary

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Isador Lukin, Commissioner (on leave)
A F. H inrichs, A cting Commissioner

+

Accident^Record Manual for
Industrial Plants

+

Prepared by
DIVISION OF INDUSTRIAL HAZARDS
Max D. Kossoris, Chief




Bulletin 7^o. 772

Letter o f Transmittal

U n ited S t ates D e par tm e n t
B u reau

of

of

L abor,

L abor S t a t is t ic s ,

W ashington, D . 0 .9 March 1 0 ,1 9 4 4 .
T h e Secretary

of

L abor :

I have the honor to transm it herewith an accident-record manual for indus­
trial plants. This m anual w as prepared in the D ivision o f Industrial H azards by
M ax D . Kossoris.
The Bureau o f Labor Statistics gratefully acknowledges the criticism s and
suggestions of the follow ing safety engineers: H . W . Heinrich, Assistant Super­
intendent, Engineering and Inspection D ivision, The Travellers; Col. E . R . Granniss, Chief, Safety and H ealth Branch, Internal Security Division, W ar Depart­
m en t; and R . P. Blake, Senior Safety Engineer, D ivision o f Labor Standards,
United States Department o f Labor.
A . F . H in r ic h s , Acting Commissioner.
Hon. F rances P e r k in s ,
Secretary of Labor.

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: WASHINGTON : 1944

For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, U . S. Governm ent Printing Office
Washington, D . C. Price 10 cents




P urpose o f T his B u lletin
During the last year the Bureau of Labor Statistics received many
requests for information on the methods of computing industrialinjury rates, and how accident facts generally might be used to best
advantage for accident prevention.
The occupational-accident toll for the war year 1943 has been
estimated at about 2,400,000, and the consequent economic time loss
at about 274 million days—the equivalent of a year’s work for over
900,000 workers. Strong efforts to reduce this impediment to our
production program were made by the Committee for the Conservation
of Manpower in War Industries of the United States Department of
Labor, the Safety and Health Branch of the Office o f the Provost
Marshal General of the Army Service Forces, the National Safety
Council, and many other Federal, State, and private organizations.
Through their efforts the message that most of these accidents could
be prevented simply and practically was carried to literally thousands
of plants, many of which had not been familiar with scientific acci­
dent prevention until then. Such plants generally knew little or
nothing about the analysis and recording of accident facts and the
uses o f such data for accident prevention.
The purpose of this bulletin is to assist such plants to set up and
use effective accident records. It is not a primer on methods of pre­
venting accidents. Its function is to suggest simple and useful meth­
ods o f accident recording and the uses of such data for accident pre­
vention. It is also hoped that plants having good accident records
may find useful suggestions in this manual to expand and utilize more
fully the data they already have.
i

683660°—44



Contents

Page
Purpose of this bulletin_________________________________________________
Industrial accidents are preventable____________________________________
How to evaluate the accident problem__________________________________
Example of use of formula_________________________________________
What injuries to count_____________________________________________
How to obtain exposure data_______________________________________
How the frequency rate can be used________________________________
How to measure injury severity____________________________________
Scale of time charges__________________________________________
Example of use of formula_____________________________________
What causes accidents?_________________________________________________
Accident cause summary_____________________________________________
The accident report summary_________________________________ - —
The accident cause analysis summary-------------------------------------------------Other types of summaries or detailed analyses---------------------------------Forms:
1.— Monthly industrial-injury frequency summary--------------------------2. — Supervisor’s report of accident investigation--------------------------State (Arkansas).— Employer’s first report of industrial injury--------3. — Accident report summary____________________________________
4. — Accident cause summary_______________________________________
ii




I
1
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8
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10
11
14
17

Bulletin 7\£o. 772 o f the
U nited States Bureau o f Labor Statistics

Accident-Record Manual for Industrial
Plants
Industrial Accidents Are Preventable
The time loss because of industrial accidents during 1943 is con­
servatively estimated at nearly 57 million man-days. This figure con­
tains no allowance for the economic losses extending beyond the year
and attributable to fatalities and permanent impairments. I f allow­
ances are made for these items, the total time-loss figure rises to 274
million man-days. But even this figure, which represents a year’s
work for 914,000 workers, does not take into account the millions of
days lost because of time taken out for first-aid treatments and the
decreased efficiency on the job after the injured’s return to work.
Nor does it include the time required by supervisors to investigate
the accident, to provide care for the injured, and, frequently, to break
in new men to replace those injured or killed. Further, the figure
does not reflect the time necessary to replace or repair equipment or
materials which frequently are damaged in industrial accidents. Large
as the estimates are, they tell but a fraction of the total story.
Disabling injuries during 1943 have been estimated at 2,400,000.
In manufacturing alone about 63,000 persons are disabled each month,
or about 2,000 per day.
Most of these accidents could have been prevented. Competent
safety engineers agree that at least 50 percent of all industrial acci­
dents are preventable practically and cheaply, provided attention is
directed to two factors—unsafe working conditions and unsafe acts.
Prevention of these accidents not only would have been tremendously
helpful to the war effort, but would have benefited individual plants
greatly by insuring a smoother production flow, greater attention to
production by supervisors, less labor turnover, less waste, and lowrer
workmen’s compensation costs.
In the process of accident prevention, accident reports and records
are extremely useful tools. The determination of the proper preven­
tive measures, in each instance can be made only after an accurate
and adequate analysis of the conditions or practices which resulted
in the accident. Similarly, the safety man w ants certain information
7
to guide his policies, information which can best be obtained from
records. Specifically, he wants to know:
1. How serious is the accident problem?
2. Where do the accidents occur ?
3. What are the causes of these accidents ?




1

2

ACCIDENT-RECORD MANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

4. What remedial action is necessary to prevent recurrences of
such accidents?
5. How effective are the remedial measures?
Accident records can provide specific answers to all of these ques­
tions. The only question which records may not answer directly is
item 4—the remedial action necessary. But, if the analysis is accurate
and adequate, the statement of why the accident occurred frequently
will point directly to the remedy, or, at least, will be very helpful in
the determination of the remedy.

How To Evaluate the Accident Problem
Form 1 is suggested for recording the frequency rates for each
month as well as the cumulative rates throughout tne year. It pro­
vides for the entry of the data necessary for the computation of these
rates for each department as well as for the plant as a whole. The
severity-rate computation is suggested on an annual basis only.
The frequency rate is the most important single measure of both
the accident trend and the size of the accident problem—whether in
an industry, plant, or department of a plant. A mere knowledge
o f the number o f work injuries is not enough. Is the accident ex­
perience bad because a plant had 25 disabling injuries last month?
Is the situation getting worse because there were only 15 disabling
injuries the month before, and only 10 the month before that? Ob­
viously it is necessary to know not only the number of injuries, but
also the number of workers and the total time during which they
were exposed to the hazard of being injured through work accidents.
An increase in the number of injuries may, nevertheless, represent an
improvement if employee-hours increased more sharply than did in­
juries. Conversely, a smaller number of injuries represents an im­
provement only if the decrease in injuries is not matched by a com­
parable or larger decrease in total employee-hours worked.
The accepted standard for measuring the frequency of industrial
injury occurrence is the frequency rate. It is defined as the number
o f disabling injuries per million em ployee-hows o f exposure. It
may easily be computed by the following formula:
Frequency r a te =

Number of disabling injuries X 1,000,000
Total number of employee-hours worked

By adding injuries and by totaling employee-hours worked (usually
referred to by the single term “ exposure” ) cumulative totals can be
computed. For instance, the cumulative rate for January through
June can be obtained by adding all disabling injuries for this 6-month
period, multiplying the sum by 1,000,000, and dividing this result by
the total employee-hours worked during the period. The form pro­
vides for the entry of the cumulative totals which are obtained simply
by adding the figures for the last month to the sum of the preceding
months.
By using the million employee-hour yardstick, the measurement of
disabling work injuries is reduced to a uniform base, a base which is
not affected by either the number of workers or the daily or weekly
hours they work.




F orm 1

Month o f ____________ , 19_Name of Plant:

Compiled by

Employee-hours worked
Department

All departments:
Department A..............................................
B_. ________________
C..............................................
D .____ __________________
etc..............................................




Average
number of
employees

This
month

Year to
date

Disabling injuries
Death

Permanent
impair­
ment

Tempo­
rary
total

Frequency rate
T otal
This
month

Year to
date

This
month

Year
to
date

Severity
rate
For
entire
year

ACCIDENT-RECORD M A N U A L FOR IN D U STRIAL P L A N T S

M onthly Industrial-Injury Frequency Summary

00

4

ACCIDENT-RECORD MANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

Example of Use of Formula

Monthly rate.—Plant “ A ” had 500 employees during July. Employee-liours worked during the month totaled 108,000. There were
5 disabling injuries. What is the frequency rate ?
To compute the frequency rate, the formula is applied as follow s:
Frequency rate=

5X1,000,000
108,000

5,000,000
—46.3
108,000

Cumulative rate.—Plant U " worked 108,000 employee-hours during
B
January, 95,000 during February, and 131,000 during March. Dis­
abling injuries totaled 7 for January, 4 for February, and 5 for March.
What is the cumulative rate for the 3 months ?
By application of the formula, the cumulative rate would be:
( 7 + 4 + 5 ) X I ,000,000
_1 6 X 1 ,0 0 0 ,0 0 0 16,000,000
103,000+95,000+131,000
329,000
'
329,000

The individual rates for January, February, and March in this
example are 69.9,42.1, and 38.2. It should be noted that the cumulative
rate is not computed by averaging the 3 frequency rates, which would
result in an average of 50.1.
What Injuries to Count

The frequency rate is based on a consideration of disabling injuries.
A disabling injury is defined briefly as one which results in some per­
manent bodily impairment or prevents a worker from resuming work
at the beginning of the next day or shift or at some later date. The
first part of the definition includes fatalities and all permanent impair­
ments, whether major or minor. The second includes all temporary
disabilities.
Permanent impairments may be of two kinds: (1) Those resulting
in the complete loss of a member, such as by amputation, or (2)
those which, without amputation, impair the usual function of the body
or any part of it. Thus, a permanent impairment of an arm may
result either from an amputation above the elbow, or from a limitation
of the motion of the arm.
Temporary total disabilities include all disabling injuries which
do not involve death or permanent impairment. They7 do not include
first-aid cases. For example, if a worker loses 1 or more days because
o f an injury but returns to his job thereafter without any7 permanent
impairment, his case is counted as a temporary total disability.
Unless indicated to the contrary, the disabling injuries included in
the computation of the frequency rate consist of the following four
types:
1. Fatalities.
2. Permanent total disabilities Permanent impairments.
3. Permanent partial disabilities
4. Temporary total disabilities.
In the procedure proposed here, permanent total disabilities are
combined with permanent partial disabilities into the single group of
permanent impairments. As the names suggest, the difference is one
o f degree. Under permanent total disabilities are classed all impair-




ACCIDENT-RECORD M ANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

5

merits which render a worker totally unfit for industrial employment.
By definition, this group also includes all injuries resulting in the loss
or total loss o f use of both arms or hands, both legs or feet, both
eyes, or any combination of these, such as one hand and one foot.
The permanent partial disability group includes all lesser permanent
impairments.1
Although first-aid cases are not included in the frequency rate,
they are well worth recording and analyzing, especially in small
establishments where the number of disabling injuries often is too
small to provide a comprehensive picture of accident causes. Attention
to these injuries will reveal accident-causation factors which frequently
lead to more serious disabling injuries. Often the difference between
a minor injury and a major one is merely a fraction o f a second or a
fraction o f an inch. A falling box can crush a skull as easily as it
bruises knuckles, and a fall can result in a broken neck or leg as easily
as in a bruised shin. I f it can be managed to record and analyze minor
injuries, it is recommended that this be done. I f the volume of such
injuries is so large as to make a regular analysis too burdensome, it
may be advantageous to analyze a cross section, or to make only an
occasional analysis. I f a count o f these cases is wanted, the proposed
form can be modified easily to accommodate this additional item.
It is suggested, however, that the total of these cases be excluded from
the total for disabling injuries, which is to be used in the computation
of the frequency rate.
The principal reason for keeping a separate count of first-aid cases
is that the frequency rate based on disabling injuries is the measure
used for comparison with other plants or industries. There is no rea­
son, however, why a frequency rate should not be computed separately
for first-aid cases. Many industrial establishments do that because
o f the conviction that the elimination of the causes of first-aid cases
also means the prevention o f disabling injuries.
H ow to Obtain Exposure Data

Obtaining employee-hour data present no great problem for the
small plant, as it can simply add together the hours shown on the
time cards. It is not often difficult for the medium-sized or the large
plant to obtain such data; either the plant computes departmental
totals which in turn can be added together to give the exposure for
the entire plant, or it has the information on tabulating cards which
may be totaled by tabulating machines. Plants which have no time
cards, or in which the accounting or pay-roll department cannot
readily furnish the exposure data when wanted for the computation
o f the frequency rate, can come very close to the actual rate by esti­
mating the employee-hours worked. For instance, if 500 employees
worked an average of 9 hours a day, and there are 25 working days
in the month, the estimated employee-hours worked would be
500X9X25=112,500. I f there were 5 disabling injuries during the
month, the frequency rate would be —

^ =44.4. If absentee­

1 For detailed definitions see either of the follow ing: (a) American Standards Association,
Code Z16.1: American Standard Method of Compiling Industrial Injury Rates, 1937; or
(b) U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bulletin No. 667: Manual on Industrial Injury
Statistics, 1940.
583660°— 44------ 1




6

ACCIDENT-RECORD M ANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

ism records are available, a correction can be introduced by deducting
the employee-days lost. Suppose 20 employees lost a total of 95 days
during the month. The time lost would be 95X9=855 employeehours. Deducting this from the total estimate of 112,500, leaves
111,645 hours worked. The corrected frequency rate would then be
^ ^ ^ — ^ = 4 4 .8 . I f it were possible to count the number of hours
111,645
r
worked, the total might actually be somewhat below 111,645 because
o f absences o f less than a full day. The correct frequency rate may
actually be about 45.0.
It will be noted, however, that these corrections do not affect the
level or the trend o f the rate to any appreciable extent. The differ­
ence between the rough estimate of the total employee-hours exposure
and the refined method of allowing for all absences in this illustration
changes the frequency rate from 44.4 to 44.8 or 45.0, or less than 1
percent. Such an error is negligible, and wpuld remain negligible for
practical purposes even i f it were several times 1 percent.
For practical purposes, therefore, the estimated total of the em­
ployee-hours worked is sufficiently accurate in the computation o f the
frequency rate. Obviously, if a frequency rate remains high or con­
sistently increases, urgent attention is called for. The frequency rate
may be considered as the fever thermometer reading for disabling
industrial injuries.
H ow the Frequency Rate Can B e Used

The frequency rate can be used (1) to determine where accidents
are occurring within the plant (if records are kept by departments)
and (2) to determine how the experience of a department or of a plant
compares with similar departments or plants. I f the frequency rate
for a plant is 45 while the average rate for the industry is 29, obviously
there is something wrong with the plant situation.2 That is not to
say, however, that the rate of 29 indicates a good safety performance.
It does not. But it does afford some measure of the relative standing
o f the plant. On the other hand, if the plant rate is 5 against an
industry average of 29, the plant may justly be proud of its safety
record.
A third use of the rate is to indicate whether the safety program
is keeping step with the changes in the plant, whether in type of
activity or changing character of the composition o f the employee
force. With the present activities in war production and the em­
ployment of greater proportions of women and older and younger per­
sons, the established safety procedures may require revision. The trend
o f the frequency rate is a good gauge for this purpose.
Fourth, the frequency rate is a measure of the effectiveness of the
corrective methods used. I f certain corrective methods are followed
by a decreasing frequency rate, the conclusion is permissible that they
are accomplishing this result. I f the rate stays at the same level or
goes up, it is a clear indication that the steps taken have not remedied
the situation and that more effective methods are needed.
2 Monthly frequency rates for selected manufacturing industries are published by the
U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are obtainable by request. Yearly rates are computed
annually and cover a larger number of industries.




ACCIDENT-RECORD MANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

7

H ow To Measure Injury Severity

The frequency rate, based on all disabling injuries, gives no clue
as to whether these injuries are serious ones or not. A fatality is given
no more weight in the computation of this rate than the loss o f 1 day’s
time for a temporary total disability.
The severity rate is used as a measure o f the relative time lost be­
came o f disabling injuries. It is defined briefly as the average time
loss (measured in days) 'per 1,000 hours worked. Convenience is the
major reason for using 1,000 hours as a base rather than 1,000,000
hours, as in the computation of the frequency rate.
For all but temporary disabilities, time charges are arrived at by
means of a standard scale. For temporary disabilities, the calendar
days are counted by beginning with the first day the worker was dis­
abled, and ending with the last day o f his disability. No deductions
are made for Sundays, holidays, shutdowns, or other days during which
the worker normally would not be required to work. I f he was
hurt on April 10, and was off continuously until his return on April
25, the disability count begins on April 11 and ends on April 24, for
a total o f 14 days.
For deaths and permanent impairments, the figures given in the
scale o f time charges are used. The actual days o f disability are dis­
regarded. I f the impairment is only partial, the same percentage is
applied against the time charge as the extent of the injury bears to the
total loss or loss of use of the member involved. Thus, if a worker
suffers a 33-percent impairment of an arm below the elbow, the time
charge is one-third of 3,600 days, or 1,200 days.
SCALE OF TIME CHARGES

Days

Death___________________________________________________________________________ 6 ,0 0 0
Permanent total disability_____________________________________________________ 6,0 0 0
Arm at or above elbow-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------4, 500
Arm below elbow------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------3, 600
H and____________________________________________________________________________ 3,0 00
Thumb__________________________________________________________________________
600
Any one finger_________________________________________________________________
300
Tw o fingers, samehand-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------750
Three fingers, same hand-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------1,200
Four fingers, same hand-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1,800
Thumb, and one finger, same hand---------------------------------------------------------------- 1,200
Thumb and two fingers, same hand---------------------------------------------------------------- 1,500
Thumb and three fingers, same hand-------------------------------------------------------------- 2,000
Thumb and four fingers, same hand------------------------------------------------------------------ 2,400
Leg, at or aboveknee----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4,5 00
Leg, below knee-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3,000
Foot--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2,4 00
Great toe or any two or more toes, same foot_________________________________
300
Two great toes-------------------------------------------------------------------600
One toe, other than great toe---------------------------------------------------------------------- (x)
One eye, loss of sight------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1,800
Both eyes, loss of sight------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 6,0 00
One ear, loss of hearing_____________________________________________________
600
Both ears, loss of hearing-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------3,000
1Hernia, loss of teeth, and loss of any toe other than great toe, are considered temporary
disabilities only.

The formula for the computation of the severity rate is as follows:
Severity r a t e = __________ Total days lost X 1,000_________
Total number of employee-hours worked




8

ACCIDENT-RECORD M ANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS
EXAM PLE OF USE OF FORMULA

Plant “ A ” worked a total of 900,000 employee-hours during the first
6 months o f 1943. During this period it had the following injuries:
1 loss of vision of one eye____________________ tim e charge___ 1 ,8 0 0 days
1 loss of one thumb____________________________tim e charge___
600 days
1 loss of use of hand— 25 percent____________ tim e charge___
750 days
12 temporary disabilities---------------------------------------- time lost----15 injuries.

150 days

.Total tim e loss____ 3 ,3 00 days
Severity rate—

3,300X 1,000,__o 1
7
900,000

The frequency rate for this period would be computed as follow s:
Frequency r a te =

15 X 1,0 00,0 00^
16.7
900,000

Because it is difficult to evaluate many injuries, particularly the
more serious ones, at the end of each month, it is suggested that the
severity rate be computed for a period of not less than 6 months, and
preferably for an entire year.
Even then the problem is encountered o f evaluating the severity
o f injuries for which the extent of impairment is undetermined at the
time o f the computation. A worker, for instance, may have an injury
to his leg, but the exact extent of the impairment may not be meas­
urable until months later. In such instances the opinion of the attend­
ing physician must be used as the basis for the time-charge estimate.
I t the severity rate is computed for the entire year, then obviously
these estimates need to be made only for such cases as are undeter­
mined at the end of the year. For most cases the exact degree of
impairment will have become definitely settled during the course of
the year. A recently suggested modification of the American Standard
provides that the necessary estimates be made within 1 month after
the close o f the year so as to permit an earlier severity determination
for plants interested in safety contests. A more accurate measure
usually requires that a somewhat longer period elapse after the end
of the year before making final severity estimates.
The frequency rate, and to a lesser extent the severity rate, are
useful in answering the first two of the five questions o f the safety
man: (1) How serious is the accident problem? and (2) Where do
the accidents occur? The frequency rates by departments tell him
where most accidents occur. A comparison with the rates of other
departments or other plants in the same industry, or with rates for
the entire industry, reveals quickly the relative measure o f the de­
partment’s or plant’s performance.

What Causes Accidents?
Any analysis o f accident causes must necessarily begin with the
investigation of individual accidents. As safety is an integral part
o f the production process, and because safety is management’s respon­
sibility, the foreman is the key man in accident prevention. He is
responsible for the production and for the safety of his workers. He
must see that working conditions are safe, that the workers under his
supervision know how to work safely, and that they do so. Conse­




ACCIDENT-RECORD M ANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

9

quently the basic approach to accident prevention is through the
foreman. Form 2, the Supervisor’s Report of Accident Investiga­
tion has been drawn with two purposes in mind: (1) To assist the
supervisor in the analysis of accidents in his department, and (2)
to require him to think in terms of causes and remedial measures.
The trained safety man can tell quickly from the completed reports
whether or not a foreman understands his accident problems. Through
discussion with the foreman, his attention can be directed to significant
omissions or errors in judgment. In addition to serving as a record
for each accident, the form therefore serves also as a useful educa­
tional tool.
In a few States the agencies administering the workmen’s compen­
sation acts have prescribed report forms which not only serve the
administrative needs of these bodies but also provide them with basic
material for accident prevention. Such forms readily serve the em­
ployer’s needs for accident-cause analysis and make unnecessary the
use of a form along the lines suggested here. The form required bv
the Arkansas Workmen’s Compensation Commission is reproduced,
by way of example, on page 11.




10

ACCIDENT-RECORD M ANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

F orm 2
Name of Com pany:____________________________

Supervisor’s Report of Accident Investigation
(Note.— The term “ Supervisor” refers to any individual who acts as immediate foreman,
leader, headman, or gang boss)
D epartm ent:________________________________
Name of injured w orker:____________________________

Badge or clock no__________

Occupation:____________________________________________________________________________
D ate o f accident:--------------------3 (circle one)

Hour of d a y : -------a. m. -------- p. m.

S h ift: 1, 2,

Description of injury (name also body parts affected and resulting type of
disability) :______________________________________ 1__________________________________

Full description of bow accident happened:

W hat unguarded, defective, or otherwise unsafe machine, tool, or other object,
substance, or condition, contributed to the accident?_____________________________

W hat w as wrong with it?

W h at unsafe act was committed?

W hy was the unsafe act committed?

W hat has been done to prevent sim ilar accidents?

W h at do you recommend to prevent sim ilar accidents?

Signature: __________________

P osition : ------------— ------------

Note : The size suggested for this form is 8 % " x 11".




D a te :

11

ACCIDENT-RECORD M ANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

THE USE OF THIS FORM IS REQUIRED UltDER THE PROVISIOHS OF THE ARKANSAS
WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION L A W

“ “ I m PLOYER’SFIRSTr e p o r to f
INDUSTRIAL INJURY

m ia :

S tate’s

, ...................... ......................................... .

N u m ber
E m p lo y e r :------------------------- —

F or:

C arrier’s Wile N o _____ ____ ____

_____

_____

..

_________

(Tbe spaces above not to be filled in by Employer)
E M P L ffV E R -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(Give name under which coneefji doee business)

DO NOT WRITE
IN THIS COLUMN
CASE NO.

(Lis! prinolpal product or service of the concern)
EMPLOYER NO.

A C C ID E N T
’

•(City and State)

F

(Tee or No)
PLACE OF
ACCIDENT
(Yes or No)

(10)

Name of Foreman_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ _—

INDUSTRY

IN JU R E D E M P L O Y E E
(First Name)

(Middle Initial)

(Last Name)

DATE OF
ACCIDENT

AOE

f
(I I )

1 y.* k

. *k,

Wages: Per hour I ..............

^

.1

v ,
RACE

.p e r day $---------------- .p er week 1

If board, lodging, fares o r ‘ other advantages
CONJUO. COND.
AND SEX

C A U S E O F A C C ID E N T
(Describe briefly.
such as:- loading truck; operating a drill press; shoveling dirt; etc.)

< ) ( )

«.

TIME EMPLOYED

%
WEEKLY WAGE

(Name the machine, tool, appliance, gas liquid, etc., involved)
,

(State it gears* pulley* motor, etc.)
OCCUPATION

• AGENCY
(Describe the accident fully, stating whether the Injured person fell or was struck, etc..
AGENCY PART

and all the factors contributing to the accident. Use other side o f report for additional apace.)
(Specify the remedial measure, such as; better Illumination, better

ACCIDENT
TYPE

ventilation, providing goggled providing a better guard, better supervision, etc.)

^

^

Name and ad ^ ^

_

____ ^

^_____ ^

^
(Do not aay "by being more careful." but specify what employee

UNSAFE ACT

should or should not have done. For Instance: should n o t have used defective ladder; should not have oiled machinery In
MECHANICAL
defect

motion, etc.)

N A T U R E A N D L O C AT IO N O F IN JU R Y
*

(Describe In detail the nature of the injury and the part of the body affected. For instance: amputation of right arm.)

^

t >

..

*

PERSONAL
DEFECT

..
NATURE

(11)

Did injury result In death?

■

■

— .I f so. give date-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

LOCATION

INSURANCE

IN S U R A N C E
(S»> Name and address of workmen s compensitlo

nsu
REPORT LAO
CODED BY

Note : The actual size of this form is 8 % " x 11",




12

ACCIDENT-RECORD M ANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

Accident Cause Summary

From time to time, and preferably for specified periods, it will be
desirable to summarize the facts obtained from the supervisors’ re­
ports. I f accidents have been few in number, a simple chronological
record o f the type suggested in Form 3 may suffice. I f accidents have
been numerous, Form 4 is preferable.
Before entering into a discussion of these forms, however, it is
desirable to sketch briefly the method of accident cause analysis which
underlies these forms.
The purpose o f accident camse analysis is to determine the factors
which brought about accidents. These factors fall into 2 classes: (1)
Unsafe working conditions, and (2) unsafe acts. It is important to
watch both of these factors, even though in any given accident one may
appear to be the more important. Unsafe working conditions fre­
quently lead to unsafe acts, and vice versa. In most accidents, both
factors will be found.
It is not intended here to go into great detail on the classification o f
accident factors. There are several sources which adequately cover
this subject.3 It is sufficient to indicate that the accident factors to
be recorded are the factors which appear during any properly con­
ducted accident investigation, and which can be obtained directly from
an analysis of either the supervisor’s report or a workmen’s compen­
sation report form o f the type used in Arkansas.
To describe an unsafe working condition adequately, it is necessary
to identify both the unsafe object or condition and to specify in what
respect it is or was unsafe. Frequently it is desirable to go even
farther and to identify a particular part of the unsafe object. It is
more meaningful, for instance, to specify the faulty safety lock on
the elevator door or the frayed elevator cable rather than to name the
elevator as the unsafe object. # In describing the unsafe working con­
dition, then, it is necessary to identify three accident factors:
(1) The object, substance, or condition which is or was unsafe.
(2) The particular unsafe part of the named object.
(3) The defective condition.
In the standard method of accident cause analysis, these three fac­
tors are labeled, respectively— (1) agency, (2) agency part, and (3)
agency defect. A fourth factor, called accident type, identifies the
type o f accident which resulted from the unsafe condition or unsafe
act. This accident type may be a fall on a level surface, a fall from
one level to another, struck by, caught in, on or between, etc.
The unsafe act involved may have been committed by the worker
who was injured, or by a co-worker, or by some other person. An
unsafe act may be described briefly as the violation o f an accepted safe
practice rule, such as oiling gears which are in motion, placing a lad­
8American Standards Association Code Z16.2: American Recommended Practice for
Compiling Industrial Accident Causes, 1941; U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bulletin No.
667 : Manual on Industrial Injury Statistics, 1940; and H. W. Heinrich: Industrial Acci­
dent Prevention, 1941.




ACCIDENT-RECORD MANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

13

der at an improper angle, climbing over a moving belt or conveyor,
and similar acts. The question to be answered is: What was done
unsafely and thereby contributed to the occurrence of the accident ?
The determination o f the unsafe act furnishes the fifth accident factor.
I f possible, it is worth while to determine why the unsafe act was
committed (personal fault). The determination of this sixth fac­
tor may help greatly in the selection of the proper remedial measures.
This is particularly true if workers are unaware of the proper safe
practices, or have some physical deficiency, such as poor vision, which
requires attention.
Briefly, the accident cause factors may be summarized as follows: 4
1. The agency involved—i. e., the object or substance.
2. The agency part—such as the gears of a press.
3. The defective condition o f the agency or agency part.
4. The accident type.
5. The unsafe act.
6. The reason for the unsafe act—i. e., personal fault.
An example may serve to illustrate this method o f accident-fac­
tor classification. An inexperienced oiler removes the guard on the
gears o f a punch press in order to oil them. The guard was so con­
structed as to make access to the oil cup difficult without the removal
o f the guard. The oiler’s fingers were mashed between the gears.
The accident factors in this case are:
Agency____________________________ Punch press.
Agency part_______________________ Gears.
Agency defect_____________________ Improperly guarded.
Accident type-------------------------------- Caught between.
Unsafe act________________________ Removal of guard.
Reason for unsafe act_____________ Inexperience.
This type o f analysis is factual, and it does not attempt to assess
blame. The remedial measures, however, are not difficult to de­
termine: (1) The substitution o f a guard, or the modification of the
present guard, which will provide easy access to the oil cup; (2)
proper supervision and training of the oiler in the safe wav of doing
liis work.
This method of analysis is simple and follows the steps which an
investigator o f accidents usually follows.
The Accident Report Summary

As already indicated, Form 3 is suggested for plants with few
disabling injuries. It provides a chronological record which can be
compiled readily from an analysis o f the accident investigation re­
port. In addition to the six accident factors, the form also provides
for a record o f the remedial action taken.
1For the rules governing the selection of cause factors when there is a choice, see any
of the sources named in footnote 3 (p. 12).




F orm 3

Accident Report Summary
Period co v ered :-------- __---------

t o ----------Prepared by

D epartm ent:

Name of injured

Accident
date

Nature of
injury

Agency and
part

Agency defect Accident type

Walter Ryan_______

3-5-43 Broken leg

Conveyor

None

Caught be­
tween

John Walters..............

3-8-43 Punctured
eye

Chisel

Burred

Struck by




Unsafe act

Reason for
unsafe act

Remedial action taken

Employees instructed never to climb over
Climbing over In a hurry
moving conveyor
moving con­
veyor
Not wearing Not sold on Wearing of goggles made mandatory; fre­
quent inspection and conditioning of tools
goggles—
safety
using unsafe
tool

ACCIDENT-RECORD M A N U A L FOR IN D U ST R IA L P L A N T S

Nam e of co m p a n y :_________________________

ACCIDENT-RECORD MANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

15

The Accident Cause Analysis Summary

In summarizing the accident factors of a large number of accidents,
best results will be obtained by so arranging the summary form that
it will point toward hazards of particular concern to the specific de­
partment or plant. Although there are many unsafe acts, relatively
few are of important significance at any one time in any one unit of
industrial operation. It is advisable, therefore, for each plant or
department or type of operation—depending on how these records are
to be kept—to provide itself with a few selected items in the category
o f each o f the accident factors. These selected items should consti­
tute the items of special importance to the operation or department or
plant, and should be assigned simple code numbers or symbols. Classi­
fication and summarization by such numbers or symbols is very much
simpler than by the use of the actual terminology on the summary
form. A ll other items, deemed of lesser significance, can be assigned
to a miscellaneous heading. This procedure permits the summary
sheet to be expanded or contracted. New items may be added, old ones
dropped, and variations introduced to suit the need.
Form 4 can be prepared directly from Form 1. Under the agency
column should be listed the specific agencies involved in the work
injuries—such as saw, multiple drill press, ladder, loading platform,
wrench, etc. I f the summary is for a plant, the departments can next
be shown, also by code symbol. The number of injuries shown for
each department will then be those in which the listed agency was in­
volved. Next are shown the type of disability, unsafe condition, acci­
dent type, unsafe act, and reason for unsafe act.
In a department or plant in which operations consist o f machining
with some assembling, for illustration, the agencies may tend to fall
into two major categories: Machines and hand tools. Under the head­
ing of “machines” can be listed the specific machines involved: Lathe,
drill press, grinder, etc. The category of tools can be divided into
power-driven tools and hand-operated tools, with the specific tools
listed under each.
For the purpose o f this system, there are essentially three types o f
disability: Fatalities, permanent impairments, and temporary total
disabilities. These have already been defined and can be shown on the
form simply as types 1, 2, and 3.
Unsafe conditions can be summarized by selecting those which
seem important—from Form 1—and assigning a number to each.
The number o f cases shown within each space indicates the number
o f times an accident occurred because o f this particular defect of the
agency. In case of machines, the selected unsafe conditions con­
ceivably may be (1) unguarded, (2) improperly guarded, and (3)
miscellaneous. For hand tools, they may be (4) worn, (5) mush­
roomed, and (6) miscellaneous.
The standard accident-cause classification recognizes 10 accident
types. For a particular department or plant, however, only 3 of these
may be important: (1) Struck by, (2) caught in, on, or between, and
(3) falls— on same level. A miscellaneous group (4) will provide for
all others.




16

ACCIDENT-RECORD M ANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

As is true of unsafe conditions, the number of unsafe acts are legion.
But again certain of these will stand out from an analysis of Form 2.
Suppose in the department under consideration, the following stand
out: (1) Improper methods of lifting, (2) failure to wear goggles,
and (3) using hands instead of hand tools. A ll other unsafe acts can
then be combined into (4) miscellaneous.
Although some of the reasons for unsafe acts are hard to determine
objectively, many of them lend themselves readily to analysis and
classification. Such reasons are not difficult to identify, as for ex­
ample : Disregard of instructions, violent temper, nervous, excitable,
failure to understand instructions, lack of skill, unawareness of safe
practice, and various bodily defects—such as poor eyesight or defective
hearing. Form 2 will indicate that some of these recur much more
frequently than others. If, for example, these numerically signifi­
cant reasons are then identified as 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 (miscellaneous),
they too can be summarized very simply.
The general outline of Form 4 can remain essentially unchanged
from month to month, or year to year. But the detail to be recorded
on it will change, depending on the results of the review of Form 2.
The detail shown on Form 4 serves primarily as an example for the
hypothetical department used in the illustration. Each department
or plant will want to substitute detailed classification of its own.
based on its specific accident experience. Each form, however, should
either show or have appended to it a listing of the cause factors
represented by each code symbol.




F orm 4
Name of company:___ __________________

For period fr o m ____________ t o _______
Department (or plant)__________________________________

Agency

2

3

Accident type

Unsafe condition

Type of disability
1

Summary prepared by

1

2

3

4

5

6

1

3

2

Reason for unsafe act

Unsafe act
4

1

2

3

4

M achines:

Lathe_____________________
Drill press_________________
Grinder____
___________
All others__________________
H and tools—pow cr driven:
Pneumatic drill_____ _____
Hammer.---------- ---------------Chisel................ .........................
All others...........................
—hand powered:
Wrench____________________
Hammer___________________
All others______ ___________
Etc...................................................




!
|

i

1

2

3

4

5

ACCIDENT-RECORD M A N U A L FOR IN D U STRIAL P L A N TS

Accident Cause Summary

18

ACCIDENT-RECORD M ANUAL FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANTS

Other Types of Summaries or Detailed Analyses

Form 4 by no means exhausts the possible types of summaries
which may be found valuable. It does, however, include the more
obvious facts which are important for a recording o f accident cause
data. Other information which may be found worth while may con­
tain such items as occupation, sex, race, shift, day of week, hour of
shift, and, possibly, the age or length of experience. The form can
be expanded to include any or all of these, should that be desirable.
Various types of detailed analyses may also be found o f value. For
instance, what types of unsafe acts are characteristic of certain types
o f operations or occupations? To what extent do unsafe acts differ
for men and women, or between employees on different shifts ? What
types o f accidents follow from certain types o f unsafe acts? How
do certain types of remedial action affect the recurrence o f accident
types or unsafe acts? To this may be added data on the time losses
involved as well as compensation and medical costs.
An important aspect of accident investigation and record keeping
is that detailed information is important. The better the record keep­
ing, the easier it will be to see accident trends, and the more ade­
quately can the records be used to prevent recurrences o f similar acci­
dents. Records are no substitute for accident prevention, nor should
accident prevention stand inactive until records are compiled. But
accident records are indispensable aids toward accident prevention.
Their important function is to use the past as a guide for the future<





Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102