Herbert W. Heinrich


Mr. H. W. Heinrich’s contribution to the insurance industry was one of saving lives. In a 43-year career with The Travelers Insurance Company, he developed and promoted industrial safety programs and techniques in the form of books and hundreds of lectures, articles and brochures. Safety devices produced under this supervision have been used in thousands of applications around the world.

In the development and promotion of industrial safety, Mr. Heinrich was an educator. His constant battle for the cause of industry safety forced employers to recognize that exposing workers to unnecessary risks made poor economic sense. Through his efforts, safety engineering became accepted as an important element of profitable operations.

In 1928, he released his "88-10-2" ratio, which postulated that 88 percent of industrial accidents were due to human failings, 10 percent were the result of mechanical failings and two percent were unavoidable. During World War II, Mr. Heinrich was loaned by the Travelers to the U. S. government and served in a number of senior assignments in the War Department.

In 1952, he received the Arthur Williams Memorial Medical from the American Museum of Safety in New York, one of the nation’s oldest safety organizations. He also received the Medal of the Conseratoire Nationnale des Arts et Metiers in Paris.