Causal Attributions of Ghanaian Industrial Workers for Accident Occurrence


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Simo Salminen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Department of Occupational Safety, Topeliuksenkatu 41b, FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finland. E-mail:


This study confirms the self-defensive attribution hypothesis on causal attributions of accidents in Ghana's work environment. In this investigation, Ghanaian industrial workers and their supervisors assigned causality to industrial accidents, and their responses were compared. The results showed that the victims attributed their accidents to external causes to a greater extent than did the supervisors, and to internal causes to a lesser extent than did the supervisors. This finding reflects the tendency toward self-protective bias, whereby people tend to project blame for their failures onto external circumstances.