There are three basic causes of workplace accidents chance occurrence, unsafe conditions, and employees’ unsafe acts. Chance occurrences (such as walking past a window just as someone hits a ball through it) are more or less beyond the management’s control. We will therefore focus on unsafe conditions and unsafe acts.
Unsafe conditions and other work related factors
Unsafe conditions: The mechanical and physics accidents.
Unsafe conditions are a main cause of accidents. They include thing like:
1) Improperly guarded equipment
2) Defective equipment
3) Hazardous procedures in, on , or around machines or equipment
4) Unsafe storage – congestion, overloading
5) Improper illumination – glare insufficient light.
6) Improper ventilation – insufficient air change, impure air source.
The solution here is to identify and eliminate the unsafe conditions. The main aim of the OSHA standards is to address these mechanical and physical accident causing conditions. The employer’s safety department (if any) and its human resource managers and top managers should take responsibility for identifying unsafe conditions. However, front line supervisors pay a big role too, as the when you’re on your own feature explains.
While accidents can happen anywhere there are some high danger zones. About one third of industrial accidents occur around forklift trucks, wheelbarrows, and other handling and lifting areas. The most serious accidents usually occur by metal and woodworking machines saws, or around transmission machinery like gears, pulleys, and flywheel. Falls on stairs, ladders, walkways and scaffolds are the third most common cause of industrial accidents. Hand tools (like chisels and screwdrivers) and electrical equipment (extension cords, electric droplights and so on) are other major causes of accidents.
Certain jobs are inherently more dangerous. For example the job of crane operator results in about three times more accident related hospital; visits than does the job of supervisor. High quality jobs – those that involved extensive training, variety, and autonomy trigger fewer accidents.
Work schedules and fatigue also affect rates. Accident rates usually don’t increase too noticeably during the first five or six hours of the workday. But after that the accident rate increases faster than the increase in the number of hours worked. This is due partly to fatigue and partly to the fact that accidents occur more often during night shifts.
Unfortunately some of the most important working condition related causes of accidents are not as obvious because they involve workplace climate or psychology. One researcher reviewed the official hearings regarding fatal accidents offshore oil workers suffered in the British sector of the North Sea. A strong pressure within the organization to complete the work as quickly as possible , employees who are under a great deal of stress, and a poor safety climate – for instance, supervisors who never mention safety – were a few of the psychological conditions leading to accidents . Similarly accidents occur more frequently in plants with a high seasonal layoff rate and where there is hostility among employees many garnished wages, and blighted living conditions.
What causes unsafe acts? (A second basic cause of accidents)
Unsafe acts can undo even the best attempts to reduce unsafe conditions. The problem is that are so easy answers to the question of what causes people to act recklessly.
It may seem intuitively obvious that some people are simply accident prone, but the research isn’t all that just unlucky or may have been more meticulous about reporting their accidents. However, there is growing evidence that people with specific traits may indeed by accident prone. For example, people who are impulsive, sensation seeking, extremely extroverted and less conscientious (in terms of being less fastidious and dependable) are more likely to have accidents.
Furthermore the person who is accident prone on one job may not be so on a different job. Driving is one familiar example. Personality traits that correlate with fling vehicular insurance claims include entitlement bad drivers think there’s no reason they should not speed or run lights impatience drivers with high claim frequency were always in a hurry, aggressive always the first to want to move the red light turn green and distractibility easily and frequently distracted by cell phones, eating, drinking and so on.