From the dawn of time, accidents happened.
Nobody sets out to be injured on a specific day, performing tasks to earn a living, and then deliberately gets involved in safety incidents. You are involved in a safety accident when you accidentally cut your finger in the kitchen whilst cutting meat or salads or simply putting your hand in dishwashing water.
Every time something like that that happens, your first reaction is to find the cause – “Who put this knife here?” or “Ouch! What did I do that for?”
If it is your job to investigate and prevent accidents, you start to develop theories as to why accidents happen. You would mostly do this in order to enable you to change working methods in such a way as to avoid future accidents.
Accident causation models were originally developed in order to assist people who had to investigate occupational accidents, so that such accidents could be prevented effectively.
Knowing how accidents are caused, is also useful in a proactive sense in order to identify what types of failures or errors generally cause accidents, and so action can be taken to address these failures before they have the chance to occur.
These theories range from “blaming” the environment (someone or something else is responsible) to blaming the injured (holding the injured person responsible).