C10. Intentional Errors




Violations are deliberate deviations from the rules. They are intentional.

For example: taking a short-cut. They usually result from an intention to get the job done despite the consequences.

There are different types of violations:

  • Routine
  • Exceptional
  • Situational


Routine violations

Where breaking the rule or procedure has become the normal way of working.


Exceptional violations

Are rare and happen only in unusual and particular circumstances, for example, during an emergency situation.


Situational violations

These occur because of limitations in the employees immediate work space or environment. These include the design and condition of the work area, time pressure, number of staff and supervision, equipment availability, design and factors outside the control of the organisation, such as weather and time of day. These violations often occur when a rule is impossible or extremely difficult to work to in a particular situation.

Actions to reduce violations must address the individual’s motivation to violate. This will depend upon the individual’s reason to violate, such as:

  • Under-estimating the risk.
  • Real or perceived pressure from the boss to adopt poor work practices.
  • Pressure from work-mates to adopt their poor working practices.
  • Cutting corners to save time and effort.


Acts of Sabotage

Are hopefully rare! This may include vandalism or terrorism.

The main actions that need to be taken in these situations is additional security measures.