The following are examples of frequently seen displays
of undesirable motives:
Trying to save time and effort
Trying to maintain personal comfort
Trying to express resentment
An undesirable motive is clearly a complex
problem. A person does not react simply to the basic
needs of comfort, security, belonging, and
self-fulfillment. Attitudes, feelings, and emotions
stemming from a multitude of sources also affect a
persons motives. Chapter 2 discussed attitudes and
LACK OF TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
Mishaps caused by a lack of training and experience
occur most often when people tackle a task with which
they are neither familiar nor qualified. Experienced
personnel can clearly recognize hazardous conditions
that inexperienced persons may not notice. Since the
inexperienced persons limitations then exceed their
capabilities, a mishap may occur.
The imbalance between a persons skills and
required levels of training shows through improperly
followed procedures, shortcuts, errors in judgment, and
improper maintenance and operations. Supervisory
personnel sometimes contribute to mishaps by making
assignments without adequate knowledge of the
capabilities and limitations of their people and
When you are training inexperienced people for
new jobs, their training needs are obvious. They need
your help to gain the knowledge and skills they must
have to do a job.
Even when you provide people with the basic skills
to do a job, they may not thoroughly understand it. They
may be unable to retain what you taught them. You must
counterbalance this lack of understanding with close
As people become more experienced and less
closely supervised, training deficiencies become more
apparent. Finding people placed in tasks beyond their
current skill development is not uncommon. When
asked if they can handle the assignment, many respond
positively. They do not want to appear incompetent.
Knowledge alone is not always enough to prevent a
mishap. Most tasks in the Navy require a certain skill
level. These skills can vary from those required to paint
a bulkhead to those required to operate a nuclear reactor.
To properly accomplish any job, people must safely
develop skills through practice.
Since interpersonal relationships with our peers,
supervisors, spouses, and parents can affect our mental
attitudes and moods, they can contribute to mishaps. A
workers distraction because of worry about a pending
divorce can lead to a mishap. A workers disregard of
an order because of a personality conflict with
management or a supervisor can result in a mishap too.
To avoid being labeled a wimp, a person may give in
to peer pressure and purposely take risks, such as
working without eye protection. That can also result in
When you investigate the causes of a mishap,
carefully consider the personal lives of the people
involved. Are they having problems at home? Are they
under pressure because of financial troubles? Could
peer interaction possibly have contributed to the cause
of the mishap?
MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT FACTORS
Maintenance and support factors include improper
maintenance, improper priority assignments on work
requests, or lack of proper quality assurance (QA).
Shipyards, intermediate maintenance activities,
contractors, or a ships force may be involved with
maintenance and support.
Mishaps can result from the way the manufacturer
made, assembled, or installed the equipment. They can
result from premature equipment failure caused by a
manufacturers improper processing and fabrication,
improper assembly, or use of improper materials.
Mishaps can also result from part failures caused by a
manufacturers deviation from design specifications,
such as incorrect size, weight, strength, and similar
Material damage and personal injury mishaps can
result from improperly maintained equipment. A motor
incorrectly rewound at a shipyard could short out and
cause a fire. Improper QA or the lack of approved QA
procedures can result in a mishap. These types of
mishaps overlap with human error causes.