What is an accident?
A sequence of logically and chronologically related deviating events involving an incident that results in injury to personnel or damage to the environment or material assets.
All accidents have causes and effect – causes can be controlled, effects are as a result of luck.
- Lack of Training
- Poor Workplace layout
- Poor Lighting / ventilation
- Cluttered work areas
- Poor Working practices
- Lack of maintenance
- Lack of guidance
What causes accidents?
- Poor design
- Poor housekeeping
- Poor lighting/ventilation
- Fooling around
- Ignoring rules
Causes and events
When investigating accidents it is important to pay attention to
- what occurred just prior to the accident,
- the series of events which occurred before the accident.
- what happened differently this time compared to what always happens usually?
- why the difference this time?
- are there regular risks being taken?
- is their flaws in the system/approach to task?
- are accidents and near misses happening as a result of an ineffective ‘system’?
How to prevent accidents
1. Always be alert.
2. Don’t rush your work.
3. Wear the required PPE.
4. Follow instructions correctly.
5. Pay attention to and follow emergency drills.
6. Insist upon proper training.
2016 Legislation (General Application Regulations) demands that the HSA are immediately informed of:
- All fatalities and major injuries
- Incapacity to work for more than three consecutive calendar days not counting the day of the accident/incident (IR1 Form Incident reporting)
- Dangerous occurrences (IR3 Form)
- It should be the duty of a designated person within the company to report where necessary, accidents or incidents to the HSA
- Accidents are reported on an IR1 Form
- Dangerous occurrences are reported on an IR3 Form (The reverse of the Form gives a detailed list of what has to be reported)
- Duty of all concerned to report defects without delay
- All accidents & near misses to be reported to Safety Officer for investigation
- Safety Officer to make records in Accident Book and inform company director.
- Detailed accident report filled and co – operation of all involved expected.
ADVERSE EFFECTS OF ACCIDENTS IN THE WORKPLACE
- Loss of life
- Loss of limb or irreversible injuries
- Personal injury
- Low staff morale
- High staff turnover
- Additional expenses e.g. medical bills
- Increased company costs due to recruitment, insurance premiums and accident investigations
- Increased insurance costs
- Loss of reputation
- Personal injury claims
A near miss is a leading indicator to an accident that, if scrutinized and used correctly, can prevent injuries and damages.” Collecting near–miss reports helps create a culture that seeks to identify and control hazards, which will reduce risks and the potential for harm. A Near Miss is an unplanned event that did not result in an injury or property damage, but had the potential to do so. Given a slight shift in time or position, damage or injury easily could have occurred.
Teach employees to report near misses (verbally or on paper) to their managers, who will then record the near incident Encourage and/or incentivize employees to share near misses. When a near miss occurs, Immediately address related hazards. Whenever a near miss is reported, you should investigate it to determine its root cause and make sure that adequate control measures are in place to prevent it recurring.
- The time and date of the incident.
- Where the incident occurred.
- What work activities were being carried out before the incident.
- The type of incident.
- Details about what happened.
- The afflicted person(s) personal details.
- Explain the process to all employees. Employees are more willing to cooperate when they know all of the specifics:
- Analyze and act on the data.
- Communicate the results to employees at all levels of the organization.
- Integrate other training and techniques into the card or form you use.
- Establish a near miss reporting system.
- Investigate the cause of the near miss.
- Encourage employee participation.
- Incorporate wearable technology and data analytics.
How do you investigate workplace accidents and near misses?
- Evaluate and Document the Scene
- Get there as quickly as possible.
- Ensure the area is safe to enter.
- Make sure the injured/ill person is receiving first-aid or medical attention.
- Look for witnesses.
- Record the scene with photos (ideally with date and time stamp) or sketches.
- Safeguard any evidence
Download the Safety Matters Incident and Near Miss Report here
HAZARD LOG BOOK
- Written form/document outlining all hazards in the workplace.
- It should include the hazard type, the date and the signature of the supervisor checking.
Download the Safety Matters Hazard Log Book here