Anthropotechnological analysis of industrial accidents in Brazil

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Binder, M. C.P. [UNESP]
De Almeida, I. M. [UNESP]
Monteau, M.

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The Brazilian Ministry of Labour has been attempting to modify the norms used to analyse industrial accidents in the country. For this purpose, in 1994 it tried to make compulsory use of the causal tree approach to accident analysis, an approach developed in France during the 1970s, without having previously determined whether it is suitable for use under the industrial safety conditions that prevail in most Brazilian firms. In addition, opposition from Brazilian employers has blocked the proposed changes to the norms. The present study employed anthropotechnology to analyse experimental application of the causal tree method to work-related accidents in industrial firms in the region of Botucatu, Sao Paulo. Three work-related accidents were examined in three industrial firms representative of local, national and multinational companies. On the basis of the accidents analysed in this study, the rationale for the use of the causal tree method in Brazil can be summarized for each type of firm as follows: the method is redundant if there is a predominance of the type of risk whose elimination or neutralization requires adoption of conventional industrial safety measures (firm representative of local enterprises); the method is worth while if the company's specific technical risks have already largely been eliminated (firm representative of national enterprises); and the method is particularly appropriate if the firm has a good safety record and the causes of accidents are primarily related to industrial organization and management (multinational enterprise).



Accidents, occupation-epidemiology, Brazil, Causality, Human engineering, Risk assessment safety management

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Bulletin of the World Health Organization, v. 77, n. 12, p. 1008-1016, 1999.