Heinrich – Let it rest!



A Quick Summary from a Critical Thinking Point of View:

Heinrich is filled with errors

His Domino Causation Theory is absolutely invalid making any further use of his understanding of accidents and their results invalid

His Accident Proneness Chapter is without foundation

His researched “Raw Data” cannot stand the test of any modern diligence/valid study methodology

His observations of causation for The Foundation of Major Injury are only (at best) correlation and not proof of causation for any kind of Ratio

He writes that the ratio 1:29:300 both “may” and “will” produce his defined major injury

Anyone without a high level of critical thinking can accept that these major flaws don’t seriously impact the results observed. By modern standards the lack of rigor (both in collecting the data and the resulting statistical analysis) is so flawed it’s almost funny.

There are at least a few published concerns one has to ignore if we’re to accept such a bad study and resulting conclusion. BTW there are many myths that have survived the test of time even though there is much proof through proper science they are absolutely wrong (search Old Wives Tales).


The article referred to most certainly can be ignored if one chooses to be a non-critical thinker.


Even more concerns by others:


Bottom line, one has to ignore a GREAT DEAL of invalid data and argument to support the continued use of ANYTHING Heinrich proposed as being true.

Have some of the things he wrote about become clearer and useful? ABSOLUTELY but not because of Heinrich…


4 comments on “Heinrich – Let it rest!

  1. Rob Long says:

    Well done Alan, as usual, great thinking and well articulated. Amazing how this stuff still fills safety and risk text books.

    • Rob – Good to hear from you. The problem is that too many in the safety community stay quiet and are not up for the challenge of taking on the Myth Spreaders. This stuff is absolute bullshit and yet you can find it in way too many safety programs and text. Time to let Heinrich and his error filled theories die the natural death they deserve.

      • Rob Long says:

        Alan, you are as always a delight to read and the sound of sanity in a sector that struggles to think critically at the best of times. It seems the safety sector would prefer witchcraft and rain dances than rational sense. There are more snake oil and superstition sellers over here peddling promises of no injuries to believers than experts at a football game.

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