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In your expirence what is the cause of any on job accidents?

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5 answers

Kim’s Answer

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As a police officer at the airport, I responded to all types of injuries. I recall one in particular. A worker was hanging straps for AC ducts, in a retail stall that supposedly had all the power turned off. He hit a j-box (that had no cover on it - a code violation) and got a pretty good jolt, knocking him off the ladder. Turns out there were power lines crossing thru that stall's ceiling that provided the flood lights for the airport terminal ramp.

I have seen injuries aggravated by stupidity and greed. A worker fell from an airplane door to the ramp, and was displaying signs of serious spinal injury. His management moved him to an office because he was in the way of the plane being able to take off on time.

One of the airlines (Fed Ex or UPS) has their employees do warm ups before starting work loading aircraft. It is a good idea. Many injuries come from stretching, reaching, bending, repetitive motion, etc.

In construction, you will want to wear your PPE (hard hat, goggles, steel toes, etc) and not try to override safety features built into the tools (guards, etc). Use the right tool for the right job. Trying to be innovative can have bad consequences!

good question!

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G. Mark’s Answer

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In my experience, there are two major causes. One is the work environment not meeting safety standards. These standards, IMO, are pretty high and often overkill. But they do make a safer environment, and when these are violated, bad things can happen.

The other is the worker "not being in the moment". If you're doing a job that either is repetitive and boring or that requires you to often improvise to get something you're focused on doing and pay less attention to the risks, again, bad things can happen.

The first of these is cured by simply having inspections and fixing stuff. The second is more complicated. I'm not sure how you can prevent folks from losing focus or just being careless. One approach is to have supervision constantly monitoring people. That's a dicey situation because people often are annoyed by being watched and monitored. A good supervisor knows how to do this well, but not all supervisors are good or have those people skills. Berating an employee or just yelling, "Watch out!" can really mess up a workplace. Having safety presentations given by skilled presenters who know how to make material memorable and not boring is good. In my case, being present when an accident happens is very effective. But not pleasant. When I was present for an accident in a shipping company, it made me more careful. But it also caused me to quit because of the experience. There needs to be a happy medium, and, like most things, the answer is not simple. However, the effort to find the answer is a good way to do the best possible.

Thank you sir, hope you have a safe work life. Benjamin B. Translate
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Blake’s Answer

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Hey Benjamin,

I would say one of the most important things to stay safe at work is awareness of your surroundings. No matter how long you have had a job, if you aren't aware of potential safety hazards around you, then the chance for getting hurt increases significantly. I would compare it to driving a car. Although you may have been doing it for years, that doesn't mean that in a split second someone wont hit your car. Doesn't mean you did anything wrong, but you're still involved in a Safety event.

Thanks,
Blake
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Michael’s Answer

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Working as a safety professional, my experience in incident investigations tells you to always look at process breakdowns that led to the injury. Even if a team member had an unsafe act, there was most likely a breakdown in the process that allowed the person to get hurt. Example would be an employee is not allowed to pick up an object weighing greater than 60 lbs. The employee does it anyways and causes a strain in his lower back. Was the environment he was working in really designed to either get help or to get a mechanical lift?
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Donald’s Answer

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Years ago I spend some time in the construction industry, but most of my career has been in transportation. In both industries the emphasis is always "Safety First". While no one goes to work planning to get hurt, It happens frequently and most accidents, from slips, trips and falls to serious injuries are largely avoidable and/or preventable.

Causes of injuries: If you can imagine something could cause an injury...it has probably occurred. So I'll give you a list of some of the most common causes that I have encountered over the years.

Attitude is number one. When you go to a work site you have to understand that the construction environment is inherently dangerous. There are hazards everywhere and you must understand that to remain safe, your mindset is your primary source of protection. Taking work seriously is essential for your personal safety and for the safety of those working around or with you. A good attitude for work helps keep you safe...just as a bad attitude will facilitate poor behaviors which lead to injuries. Working safely is generally considered a condition of employment. If your mind is not fully engaged in the activities you are doing you are working dangerously.

Rushing to "get the job done" as opposed to "how to properly do the job" certainly contributes to injuries. This includes having the right equipment, the knowledge of how to use the equipment, a job briefing so everyone has a common understanding of how the job is to be done, how everyone will work together, what safety issues are embedded in the work and how to minimize exposure to safety hazards. There is a good reason why there are construction drawings...They allow people to build things as they were designed. Planning the work allows the actual builders to safely coordinate activities with others on the construction site. There is never enough time to do things right, but always time to do them over. Do it right and safely every time.

Failure to use the right tool for the right job......sounds ridiculous but you see it all the time. Using a bigger hammer or a pry bar to force things together that should fit is not a good strategy. If the task you are attempting takes more effort than you can safely exert, ask your supervisor, get the right tool, or get help. Overexertion is often a cause for strains, soft tissue injuries, cuts and bruises.....sometimes much worse.

Failure to observe what is going on around you:..When one person on a site is "cutting corners" , he/she puts others as well as him/her self at risk. If no one says anything, there are sometimes safeguards sufficient to preclude a serious injury, when two people are not working properly there is a good chance and accident will occur. If a third person is not working safely in that same area you have all the ingredients for a serious incident. If you see something being done that is unsafe, that jeopardizes the person doing it or others, you have to say or do something. You can't walk by it. Ignoring minor incidents.....allows major injuries to occur.

Not wearing proper protective equipment....Hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, appropriate foot gear and/or protective clothing, if required, contribute to your personal safety. The requirements for these things usually has come because someone was injured. After someone is injured, people tend to forget what circumstances lead to the injury but we know that Personal Protection Equipment, not utilized, makes you an accident ready to happen.

Peer Pressure: If you don't know how to do something, if you don't feel confident in performing a task or if it is beyond your physical or mental ability, ask for help before attempting to "give it a shot. Do NOT give in to people telling you to do something that you KNOW is unsafe for YOU! The people who encourage you to do unsafe acts are not looking out for you......If it happens to be your boss, you're working for the wrong company.

I'm pleased that you are interested in the causes of accidents. Too many people fail to understand how things happen until after an incident occurs. The primary person who is responsible for your safety is YOU. Construction is a rewarding occupation. You get to see the progress every day, its a team environment and you get to work with many different people. Work safely always and I wish you great success in your endeavors.









Donald recommends the following next steps:

  • Go to a construction site and observe the work that is going on. Identify what is going on and make a list of things that you believe are right and others that are wrong.
  • Talk with someone in the construction industry about what you observed. If you can talk with a supervisor and a crafts person, it would benefit you to get feedback from both sides.
  • Go to a union office that represents the craft which you wish to enter and ask what training opportunities they may offer or perhaps what companies offer apprentice programs.
  • Go to a construction company and ask what they are looking for in a person they would hire and what skills they would require. Talk about your interest in safety and ask them about their safety record.
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