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 incidents and injuries as unsafe conditions.
Accidents occur for many reasons. In most industries people tend to look for “things” to blame when an accident happens, because it’s 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, you may have not been injured–but next time you may not be so lucky.
Although employers are required by law to provide a safe and healthful workplace, it is up to you to be aware of your work environment and follow safe work practices. By avoiding unsafe acts and practicing common sense, your work will go more smoothly, with less chance for accidents.
We all know that there must be a cause for an accident to happen. In order to avoid accidents, we must remove the cause. Every cause is a result of an unsafe act or unsafe condition. By recognizing the unsafe act or condition, we can effectively remove the exposure to them. The following “deadly dozen” are reminders to help you recognize unsafe acts or conditions.
- Unauthorized use or operation of equipment;
- Failure to secure or tie down materials to prevent unexpected movement;
- Working or operating equipment too fast;
- Failure to issue warnings or signals as required;
- Using defective tools or equipment;
- Removing guards;
- Improperly using tools or equipment;
- Standing in an unsafe place or assuming an improper posture (as in lifting);
- Servicing moving equipment;
- Riding equipment not designed for passengers;
- Horseplay; and
- Failure to wear the proper personal protective equipment.
Unsafe Acts Result from:
- An improper attitude;
- Lack of knowledge or skills; or
- Reduced mental or physical capacities.
- Lack of proper guards;
- Lack of a proper warning system;
- Fire and explosion hazards;
- Poor housekeeping;
- Unexpected movements;
- Protruding objects such as nails, wire, or other metals;
- Improper clearance or congestion at aisles or passageways;
- Poor placement, storage, or arrangement of materials;
- Hazardous tools, equipment, or materials;
- Poor lighting, high noise levels;
- Hazardous atmospheric conditions; and
- Improper personal attire.
Supervisor’s Responsibility in Incident Prevention:
The success of any safety program is affected directly by the extent to which the supervisor actively participates. The supervisor has, in addition to other things, responsibility for the following:
- Risk assessments of various jobs to be performed by crew members;
- Supervision of the development of Job Safety Analysis (JSA);
- Implementation of procedures laid out in the JSA;
- Management of change in tasks and conditions;
- Development of operating rules for various jobs;
- Instruction of employees, both new and existing;
- Inspection of the work area, equipment, and work practices for the purpose of correcting substandard conditions; and
- Investigation of accidents (not only injuries alone) for the determination of causes.
These eight activities especially require a full measure of interest, enthusiasm, and follow through by the supervisor. It is the responsibility of each supervisor to prevent unsafe conditions from being created by the actions of employees, and it is his or her responsibility to see that employees do not engage in work methods that are not safe, that they do the job at hand in the correct way.
Steps to Take Once an Unsafe Condition is Found:
- If possible, correct the condition yourself immediately.
- Report any major unsafe condition or action to the appropriate company authority.
- Follow-up – report the condition again if it is not corrected.
Remember to stay alert for hazards so you won’t become one more incident statistic: You can do a quality job without rushing. Maintain a positive attitude and keep your mind on your work. This is just common sense–something smart workers use!
“IT IS BETTER TO BE CAREFUL 100 TIMES THAN TO GET KILLED ONCE” – MARK TWAIN
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