Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Shiraz

2 Ph.D Student of Sociology, University of Shiraz.


In safety sciences, accidents are unintended and non-scheduled events happening as one or more consecutive incidents as a result of unsafe acts or unsafe conditions, or both. Despite growing improvements in safety sciences in recent decades, the concept of accident, as a non-social phenomenon, is defined as neutral and meaningless, which occurs in an unintended and non-scheduled way through workers or machines. A significant amount of the research carried out in this field, following the tradition of epidemiology and behavioral psychology and by reducing the problem of safety and work health to a technical issue, emphasizes the role of individuals’ risk factors and human error in the occurrence of accidents. These studies neglect social, economic, cultural and institutional contexts in the analysis of accidents and take no advantage of interdisciplinary findings, as a result of which such reports only provide a list of risk factors and the statistical distribution of events in terms of quantitative and demographic variables; thus, they disregard the process of the social construction of accidents and the problematic nature of the concept of accidents. Therefore, the present study intends to expose the limitations of safety sciences and its conventional technical approaches in the unilateral and one-dimensional explanation of work-related accidents. For this purpose, in this research, qualitative methodology has been used as the dominant methodology, and critical ethnography has been utilized for the research process, and also thematic analysis has been employed for data analysis. The findings of the study include seven main categories which are shown in the form of the social construction cycle of accidents. Finally, the results show that work-related accidents are mainly due to the conditions governing the organization, unequal power relations and workers’ experiences of work environment than carelessness and the individual and psychological characteristics of workers.


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