Reducing the Safety Risks

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Few accidents would ever occur without risky behavior of some sort. This is because accidents don't just happen, they're caused . . . and the cause is risky behavior. Accidents can almost always be traced to an unsafe act, an unsafe condition, or a combination of both. So, if someone trips over an item on the floor, the basic cause of the accident must be eliminated by keeping everything off the floor that doesn't belong there. 

Unsafe conditions are usually created by careless housekeeping, improper loading or piling, defective or broken equipment, or risky lifting practices. Some of the more common unsafe acts involve not using safety guards and devices, not wearing protective equipment, using unsafe tools or equipment, handling materials in an unsafe manner, and indulging in careless behavior. 

Obviously, everyone has to make personal contributions to safety or the best planned safety program won't work. A good start is to follow safety rules. 

Steps to avoid unsafe acts and conditions: 

  • Stay alert on the job and don't let routine activities lure you into carelessness. Just because an unsafe act is not specifically listed as being prohibited doesn't mean you should do it. Safety awareness, also known as common sense, should be used. 
  • When you break a safety rule, you've taken the first step in forming a bad habit; a habit that can lead to injury. Good safety habits are just as easy to form; for instance, noticing unsafe conditions and then correcting them immediately or calling them to the attention of a safety officer or supervisor. 
  • Too often people dress to impress others rather than with safety in mind. Wearing rings, bracelets, and other ornaments is dangerous around machinery and on jobs where such items might catch on objects and cause injury to the wearer. Long sleeves, loose fitting clothing, and long hair can also be hazardous on some jobs; so always dress for the job. Your image as a fashion expert may suffer but it will give way to the more beneficial image of safety awareness. 
  • And finally, a very important contribution we can all make to our own safety is to develop a safety conscious attitude and by doing our part to make the work environment a safe and healthy place for everyone.