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Health and safety 101: If an accident is predictable, it's also preventable!

by , 13 June 2014
If a freak accident happens in your workplace, the DoL may forgive you for not seeing it coming. But this isn't always the case.

Freak accidents are a rarity. Most workplace accidents are fairly common accidents you could have predicted. And if you can predict an accident, you have to try prevent it.

If you don't, the DoL will find out and they will fine you.
So here's how to predict and prevent common workplace accidents...

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Take this quick quiz to find out if you can handle the DoL hot seat
Which risk assessments have to be checked by an approved inspector every two years?
Is it absolutely necessary for your company to appoint and train someone as a risk assessor?
When was the last time you did a risk assessment? (Is that too long?)
Have you checked and double checked the less obvious health hazards?
If you can't answer even one of these questions you're not only putting your employee's lives at risk; you're also putting yourself in danger of massive fine from the DoL.
Don't wait until it's too late.

Here's how to predict common workplace accidents

We've written a lot about risk assessments, but that's because they're so important. The simple fact is, you can't see what hazards your employees face without it.
If you do a proper risk assessment, you can predict accidents. This may be something as simple as seeing that your slippery floor can make people slip. Slips are predictable accidents.
Or it could be something more serious. For example, you could see that employees who work at heights and have nothing to stop them from falling.
To predict an accident you must simply apply common sense to the situation in front of you. 
The next step is then to prevent the accident with proper risk management.

Here's how you can prevent an accident

And that's why you have to choose the right safety precaution for each hazard.
For example, you can put a hand rail up to prevent people slipping. Or you can give employees PPE and safety harnesses to protect them from falling. 
Your safety precautions can often be very simple. 
The trick here is to constantly try to predict new hazards and risks and then prevent them.
With this simple process, workplace hazards will never get the better of you.
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