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. Often, incidents are caused by 7 main factors, such as:
- Taking shortcuts – we are always looking to save time but at what cost? Rushing can risk personal safety and others around you. While short cuts may reduce the time spent, they often result in an increased chance of injury.
- Being overconfident – While confidence can be a good thing, overconfidence isn’t. The “it’ll never happen to me” mentality can lead to improper procedures, tools or methods that can lead to injury.
- Starting a task with incomplete instructions – to do the job safely and right the first time you need complete information. Always ask for explanations if you are unclear about safety and production procedures.
- Poor Housekeeping - A well -maintained area sets a standard for others to follow and showcases safety and pride in your workspace.
- Ignoring Safety Procedures- Purposely failing to observe safety procedures can endanger you and your co workers. Being casual about safety can result in a casualty!
- Mental Distractions- Dropping your mental guard can pull focus away from safe work procedures, likewise if you are distracted by a friend talking or your cellphone. Don’t become a statistic because you took your eyes off a machine for “just a minute”.
- Failure to Pre- Plan the work – Hazard assessments can be the smartest way to figure out how to work safely and effectively. Being hasty in starting a task, or not thinking through the process can put you in harm’s way.
The brain is one of most important organs in the body. It acts as the control centre. The slightest damage to any part of the brain will cause a malfunction to some area of the body. While the skull, under normal circumstances, protects the brain, it is not enough. That’s why it is crucial to wear head protection. On a job site, the best head protection is found in the use of a hard hat.
Hard hats provide an additional layer of protection for your brain. Did you know that the average man’s head weighs approx.. 14 pounds and the average hard hat is 14 ounces? By this math, this means that there is an ounce of protection. Hard hats are tested to withstand the impact of an eight-pound weight dropped at five feet.
The outer portion of the hat is the shell, which has a brim that extends outward around the front of the hard hat. It is suggested that the brim of a worker’s hardhat is to always be facing forward. The brim is designed to help prevent debris from falling into your eyes and face, however more importantly the brim is there to protect your face from being wiped off your head. The second component is the harness, which attaches to the shell to maintain the hard hat on the wearer’s head. When a force strikes a properly fitted hard hat, the force is distributed throughout the entire hard hat. It prevents the force from concentrating at one point.
It is important to inspect a hard hat prior to each day’s use. Examine for gouges, cracks, deterioration, chalking or discolouration, flaking of the shell. Check to see that the suspension is properly attached and that the suspension straps are in good clean condition. Never modify your hardhat by drilling holes or adding items to accessorize your hardhat. When a hard hat is damaged, replace the entire unit. And lastly, always wear a hard hat, to protect your noggin’
You’ve heard it time and time again- accidents are often caused by unsafe acts or practices and unsafe conditions. 9 out of 10 accidents are the result of an unsafe act or things we do when we know better.
So if we know these unsafe acts lead to injury, why do we deliberately expose ourselves to injury every day?
The“It won’t Happen to me” mentality
Most of us are thinking about just getting the job done and we tend to rationalize the risk of getting injured. We think that we have done this job so often and nothing bad has ever happened. So, we think to ourselves, “There, nothing will happen, especially to me”. Taking that time to acknowledge the risks and avoiding complacency is key in preventing accidents. It keeps us on alert. So instead of thinking “it won’t happen to me” think “it COULD happen to me”.
We take shortcuts
Some of us are meticulous when it comes to following safety procedures, but because a job will only “take a minute” we use an unsafe method or tool. For example, not using safety glasses on because the job will only take a minute or not locking out a machine because an adjustment will only take a moment.
The best course of action is to avoid taking a chance in the first place. Taking even a few minutes to evaluate the job hazards around you and if you are about to perform an unsafe act- stop and think- because it COULD happen to you!