Consider this statistic: 80 out of every 100 accidents are the fault of the person involved in the incident. Unsafe actions cause four times more accidents and injuries than unsafe conditions.
Accidents occur for many reasons. Management may contribute through improper new hire orientation or inadequate training in tasks and equipment. Supervisor accountability for safety processes can also be a factor.
When an accident occurs, most people look for someone or something to blame because that’s easier than examining the root causes. Consider the underlying accident causes below. Have you ever been guilty of any of these?
Every day we make decisions we hope will make our job faster and more efficient. But do these time savers ever risk your own safety or that of other team members? Shortcuts that reduce your safety on the job are not shortcuts but an increased chance for injury.
Confidence is a good thing. Overconfidence is too much of a good thing. “It’ll never happen to me” is an attitude that quickly leads to improper procedures, tools or methods on the job, and any of these can lead to injury.
When clients, managers or safety professionals walk through your work site, housekeeping is an indicator of everyone’s attitude about quality, production and safety. Poor housekeeping creates hazards, while a well-maintained area sets a standard for others to follow. Good housekeeping is a matter of both pride and safety.
Failure to Pre-Plan the Work
Being hasty in starting a task or not thinking through the process can put you in harm’s way. Instead, Plan Your Work and then Work Your Plan.
Ignoring Safety Procedures
Intentionally failing to observe safety procedures can endanger you and your co-workers. You’re being paid to follow the company safety policies, not to make your own rules. Being casual about safety can lead to a casualty.
Mental Distractions from Work
Having a bad day at home and worrying about it at work is a hazardous combination. When you drop your mental guard, your focus drifts away from safe work procedures. You can also be distracted when a friend stops by to chat while you’re trying to work. Don’t become a statistic because you took your eyes off the machine “for just a minute.”
Starting a Task with Incomplete Instructions
To do the job safely and right the first time, you need complete information. Have you ever been sent to do a job with only partial or confusing instructions? Don’t be shy to ask for explanations about work procedures and safety precautions. It isn’t dumb to ask questions. It’s dumb not to.
Anthros Inc. partners with clients to provide Worker’s Compensation coverage, manage the claims process, and offer training to managers and supervisors in creating a safe work environment. Contact us to speak with our team and learn more about the risk management services we provide businesses.
*Adapted from “Seven Common Accident Causes” by SeaBright Insurance Loss Control.
About the Author
Lisa G. King-Corbin, PHR, is the Process Improvement Manager at Anthros Inc.