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Journal Article


Naghavi K Z, Mortazavi SB, Asilian M H, Hajizadeh E. Saf. Health Work 2019; 10(3): 305-313.


Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.


(Copyright © 2019, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute)








BACKGROUND: The oil and gas industry is one of the riskiest industries for confined space injuries. This study aimed to understand an overall picture of the causal factors of confined space accidents through analyzing accident reports and the use of a qualitative approach.

METHODS: Twenty-one fatal occupational accidents were analyzed according to the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System approach. Furthermore, thirty-three semistructured interviews were conducted with employees in different roles to capture their experiences regarding the contributory factors. The content analyses of the interview transcripts were conducted using MAXQDA software.

RESULTS: Based on accident reports, the largest proportions of causal factors (77%) were attributed to the organizational and supervisory levels, with the predominant influence of the organizational process. We identified 25 contributory factors in confined space accidents that were causal factors outside of the original Human Factors Analysis and Classification System framework. Therefore, modifications were made to deal with factors outside the organization and newly explored causal factors at the organizational level. External Influences as the fifth level considered contributory factors beyond the organization including Laws, Regulations and Standards, Government Policies, Political Influences, and Economic Status categories. Moreover, Contracting/Contract Management and Emergency Management were two extra categories identified at the organizational level.

CONCLUSIONS: Preventing confined space accidents requires addressing issues from the organizational to operator level and external influences beyond the organization. The recommended modifications provide a basis for accident investigation and risk analysis, which may be applicable across a broad range of industries and accident types.

Language: en


Accidents; Confined space; Content analysis; HFACS; Semistructured interview


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