The Deadly Dozen: They’re NOT Really Accidents

Ac-ci-dent: An unexpected and undesirable event. This is the first definition listed for the word accident in Webster’s dictionary. Accidents on the job cause all too many painful injuries and claim far too many lives, but most accidents are not really accidents. A better word would be incident because most accidents at work, while undesirable, should not be unexpected. They should be unexpected because more than 80% of all accidents (or incidents) at work are caused by the unsafe acts of employees or unsafe conditions not corrected –both of which can be controlled!

Unsafe Acts

  1. Unauthorized use or operation of equipment.
  2. Failure to secure or tie down materials to prevent unexpected movement.
  3. Working or operating equipment too fast.
  4. Failure to issue warnings or signals as required.
  5. Using defective tools or equipment.
  6. Removing guards.
  7. Improperly using tools or equipment.
  8. Standing in an unsafe place or assuming an improper posture (as in lifting).
  9. Servicing moving equipment.
  10. Riding equipment not designated for passengers.
  11. Horseplay
  12. Failure to wear the proper personal protective equipment.

Unsafe Conditions

  1. Lack of proper guards.
  2. Lack of a proper warning system.
  3. Fire and explosion hazards.
  4. Poor housekeeping.
  5. Unexpected movements.
  6. Protruding objects such as nails, wire, or other metals.
  7. Improper clearance or congestion at aisles or passageways.
  8. Poor placement, storage or arrangement of materials.
  9. Hazardous tools, equipment or materials.
  10. Poor lighting, high noise levels.
  11. Hazardous atmospheric conditions.
  12. Improper personal attire.

You can make a difference by taking the time to perform your work safely and reporting any unsafe conditions you discover to your supervisor immediately. When the cause behind the accident is found, you’ll find that practicing workplace safety procedures will go a long way in preventing that accident from occurring again.