WEEKLY SAFETY TOPIC – IS ACCIDENT PREVENTION COMMON SENSE?

We aren’t born with common sense. We acquire it throughout our lives. We learn about life from others’ experiences and our own. Common sense should be called common experience. Instead of learning the hard way–from your injury–it is best to prevent injuries by examing past incidents that have resulted in injuries. Considering your environment, your safety, and the safety of people around you are all aspects of good common sense.


At least 80% of work-related accidents are caused by unsafe acts by employees, not unsafe conditions. Even though employers are legally required to provide a safe and healthful workplace, it is your responsibility to be aware of your work environment and follow safe work practices. Avoiding unsafe acts and practicing common sense will make your work efficient and safer. Here are some unsafe behaviors that can lead to injuries:


BEING IN A HURRY – Sometimes, quickly completing a job takes precedence over safety, but it is always better to complete a job safely than quickly.


TAKING CHANCES – The entire work team can be put at risk by unsafe or at-risk behavior or when we disregard safe work practices. Keep an eye out for your coworkers and observe all safety rules. Horseplay is never appropriate on the job, so keep your hands to yourself and leave the practical jokes at home.


BEING PREOCCUPIED – Thinking about the weekend, daydreaming at work, or not paying attention to your work can lead to serious injury or death. Having a troubled or distracted mind puts you in danger of an injury. Stay focused on the task at hand.


HAVING A NEGATIVE ATTITUDE – Anger and a bad mood can lead to severe accidents because anger almost always trumps caution. Flying off the handle at work can be extremely hazardous. Your bad mood may hurt more than one person if you don’t keep it in check. Remain calm and take charge of your emotions.


FAILING TO LOOK FOR HIDDEN HAZARDS – Many job sites have constantly changing working conditions. It is not uncommon for new, unexpected hazards to arise. Keep your eyes open for changes in the environment. The hazards include spilled liquids that cause slips and falls; out-of-place objects that can be tripped over; unmarked floor openings that one can step into; low overhead pipes that can cause a head injury; and other workers who are not aware you are entering their hazardous area.


Keep an eye out for hazards, and you won’t become another accident statistic. You can do a quality job without rushing. Be positive and stay focused.