Safety Resource Library

Accidents: Holes Theory

Holes TheoryLatent failures, unlike their active counterparts, may lie dormant or undetected for hours, days, weeks, or even longer, until one day they adversely affect the unsuspecting.
There are holes in every system and the holes may be latent but they are not stagnant; they move and change size.

  • Object lessons use four pieces of paper representing equipment, methods, personnel and environment.
  • Talk through an incident that would involve problems in each area.
  • As you mention the problems make holes in the sheets.
  • If the holes line up, you have an accident.

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