Aren’t most accidents simply human error?
No. While the immediate cause of an accident may be human error, there will be a number of underlying causes that created the environment in which human error was likely to occur. For example inadequate information, instruction, training and supervision, poor workplace design, lack of management commitment, poor safety culture, etc. The objective of any accident investigation is to establish not only how the accident happened, but more importantly, what allowed it to happen. Investigations rarely conclude that operator error was the sole cause. The root causes of accidents are invariably management, organisational or planning failures.