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Seven Common Accident Causes

05.30.15   Mark A. Halloway, OHST | More by this Author

Seven Common Accident Causes

Consider this statistic: 80 out of every 100 accidents are the fault of the person involved in the incident. Unsafe acts cause four times as many accidents and injuries as unsafe conditions.

Accidents occur for many reasons. Most people tend to look for "things" to blame when an accident occurs, because it is easier than looking for "root causes," such as those listed below. Consider the underlying accident causes described. Have you been guilty of any of these attitudes or behaviors? If so, even though you may have not been injured in the past, the next time you may not be so lucky.

  1. Taking Shortcuts: Every day we make decisions we hope will make the job faster and more efficient. Do time savers ever risk your own safety or that of other team members? Short cuts that reduce your safety on the job are not shortcuts. Shortcuts are increased chances for accidents and injuries.

  2. Being Over-confident: Confidence is a good thing. Overconfidence is too much of a good thing. "It'll never happen to me" is an attitude that can lead to improper procedures, tools, or methods in your work, any of which can lead to accident and injury.

  3. Starting a Task with Incomplete Instructions: To do the job safely and correctly the first time, you need complete information. Have you ever been sent to do a job, having been given only a part of the job's instructions? Don't be shy about asking for explanations about work procedures and safety precautions. It isn't dumb to ask questions; it's dumb not to ask.

  4. Poor Housekeeping: When clients, managers or safety professionals walk through your work site, housekeeping is an accurate indicator of attitudes about quality and safety. Poor housekeeping creates hazards of all types. Good housekeeping embodies both pride and safety. A well-maintained work area also sets a standard for others to follow.

  5. Ignoring Safety Procedures: Purposely failing to observe safety procedures can endanger you and your co-workers. You are compensated to do your job while following established safety policies, not to make your own policies and rules. Being "casual" about safety can lead to a casualty!

  6. Mental Distractions from Work: Having a bad day at home and worrying about it at work is a hazardous combination. Dropping your 'mental' guard can pull your focus away from safe work procedures. Don't become a statistic because your mind is not focused on your job.

  7. Failure to Pre-Plan the Work: There is a lot of talk today about Job Hazard Analysis. Job Hazard Analysis is an effective way to anticipate the potential hazards associated with a job or task and figure out the best ways to accomplish the work safely and effectively. Being hasty in starting a task or not thinking through the process can put you in harm’s way. Plan Your Work and then Work Your Plan!

TAGS: Safety

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