The Network Rail in the UK has been fined £450,000 for health and safety breaches over the 'entirely preventable' death of a level crossing victim. Sadly, most health and safety accidents ARE entirely preventable. In this case, the cause was the train's signalman not paying enough attention when performing a repetitive task. If you've identified this as a hazard in your workplace, there's a way to reduce the risk of repetitive tasks resulting in health and safety accidents...
Network Rail faces a heavy fine in the UK following the death of a woman whose car was hit by a train on a level crossing when the crossing barrier was raised before the train had passed, says The DailyMail
The company failed to install an automatic barrier locking system.
This would have saved the woman's life, as the train's signalman wasn't paying attention when performing the repetitive task of checking to see if the train had already crossed.
And that's why it's so important to install all safety systems and implement all relevant risk control measures in your workplace.
But before even looking at risk and risk controls, you need to look at all hazards in your workplace, explains Nell Browne in the Health and Safety Advisor.
Because it's the type and extent of hazards found at each workplace that'll reduce risk and assist you to implement risk control measures.
The three-step process of reducing health and safety risks in your workplace
Start by identifying the hazard.
Then apply risk reduction measures.
Lastly, implement control procedures to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.
A hazard is any source of danger that could harm your employees' health or safety.
Are your employees starting to slack on their repetitive tasks? Reduce the risk of health and safety accidents by implementing management controls
These includes performing repetitive tasks, says Browne
Repetitive tasks are particularly dangerous as an employee can get so used to performing a specific task that it becomes routine and he skips a crucial step.
This is much like the train signalman who raised the crossing's barriers before the train had passed, says The Daily Mail.
That's what makes management controls such an important part of risk control.
Here's how management controls minimise the risk of health and safety accidents based on hazards like performing repetitive tasks
Because management controls cover any procedures that significantly limit daily exposure by controlling or manipulating the work schedule or by changing the way in which work is done, explains Kerusha Narothan, product manager of the Health and Safety Advisor
on FSP Business.
Management controls like written safe work procedures or safe operating procedures will ensure your employees know exactly what to do when to prevent health and safety accidents in the workplace.
In the case of the UK train accident, this would mean listing exactly when the crossing barrier could be raised, and what to look for before it is raised to ensure the train has crossed, to prevent accidents.