Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

First Advisor

E. Scott Dunlap

Second Advisor

Earl H. Blair

Third Advisor

Barry S. Spurlock


For as long as his work has been at the core of the safety profession, Herbert William Heinrich has been a staple of debate. His 1931 work Industrial Accident Prevention: A Scientific Approach has sparked worldwide debate on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of his safety theories, as well as the accuracy or inaccuracy of his research and methods.

Heinrich's work is undoubtedly cited time and again as the foundational teaching for behavior-based safety, as well as countless other teachings in the safety profession as a whole. Despite the continued challenges to the validity of his work, there has been little research done to verify the accuracy or inaccuracy of his research and work.

Nine years of data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was compiled, spanning from 2006 to 2014. The BLS data is broken down by ten (10) major categories reported to the BLS, which include Natural Resources and Mining, Construction, Manufacturing, Trade, Transportation and Utilities, Information, Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate, Professional and Business Services, Educational and Health Services, Leisure, Entertainment, and Hospitality, and Other Services. This data was organized and charted in a way in which a descriptive statistical analysis could be performed to provide an industry-specific comparison of Heinrich's theories versus real life. Findings from this research established the value of Heinrich's Model in modern safety management.