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Understanding Workplace Safety and Preventing Accidents
Did you know that 80% of accidents are the fault of the person involved in the incident? In fact, unsafe acts cause four times as many accidents and injuries as unsafe conditions. Accidents occur for a variety of reasons, and in most industries, people tend to look for “things” to blame when an accident happens. It’s easier than looking for “root causes.”
Let’s delve into some of the underlying causes of accidents. Have you been guilty of any of these attitudes or behaviors? If so, you may not have been injured this time, but 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. But do these time savers ever risk your own safety, or that of other crew members? Shortcuts that reduce your safety on the job are not shortcuts, but an increased chance for injury.
2. Being Over-Confident
Confidence is a good thing. Overconfidence, however, can lead to improper procedures, tools, or methods in your work, any of which can lead to an injury. Remember, “It will never happen to me” is an attitude that can lead to complacency and accidents.
3. Starting a Task with Incomplete Instructions
To do the job safely and right the first time, you need complete information. Don’t be shy about asking for explanations about work procedures and safety precautions. It’s not dumb to ask questions; it’s dumb not to.
4. Poor Housekeeping
When clients, managers, or safety professionals walk through your work site, housekeeping is an accurate indicator of everyone’s attitude about quality, production, and safety. Poor housekeeping creates hazards of all types. A well-maintained area sets a standard for others to follow. Good housekeeping involves both pride and safety.
5. Ignoring Safety Procedures
Purposely failing to observe safety procedures can endanger you and your co-workers. You are being paid to follow the company safety policies, not to make your own 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 you took your eyes off the machine “just for a minute.”
7. Failure to Pre-Plan the Work
There is a lot of talk today about Job Safety Analysis (JSA). JSA is an effective way to figure out the smartest ways to work safely and effectively. 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.
Remember, safety isn’t just about following rules, it’s about ensuring you go home to your loved ones at the end of the day. Stay safe!