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3 Common Cause of Human Error

There are many types of human error, which have just as many causes. Of course, these cases of a human error lead to accidents, and human error prevention training programs can only do so much to stop these accidents from happening. After all, 90% of accidents in the workplace are due to human error. Because of this, it’s important to recognize the common causes of human error to prevent those errors from becoming accidents.

Lack of Sleep

The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep to function at a highly productive level. However, the average adult gets less than seven hours of sleep a night. This lack of sleep can cause cognitive issues, brought on by fatigue. In other words, if you don’t get enough sleep you won’t think as clearly or quickly. Looking at whether or not those involved got enough sleep is a common way to start for anyone completing a human error investigation.


Anxiety or stress can create a lot of issues, not only in the workplace but in a person’s day to day life. It can lead to a negative environment for the team, as well as make an individual unprepared mentally to work. This lack of preparedness is what leads to accidents. For this reason, it’s important to keep a comfortable and happy environment in the workplace.


When working it is important to stay focused on the task at hand. Distractions take a worker’s mind off their job and can lead to accidents. There are many types of distractions in the workplace, including distractions that are present in that workplace and internal within the worker.

It’s impossible to eliminate every last distraction from the workplace. However, due to the danger that attention failures place on an individual and a workplace as a whole, it is important to limit distractions within a workplace as well as by an individual.

Accident prevention relies on employees’ personal responsibility, as well as a safe workplace. By blending these two things accidents can be prevented in most instances. Of course, there will still be instances where a human error investigation may need to occur, but by making an environment as distraction-free and focused as possible accidents and human error investigations can be limited.