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Effectively manage safety in your workplace with this model

by , 17 November 2015
In 1969, the Director of Engineering Services at the Insurance Company of North America, Frank E. Bird Jr., began a study into industrial accidents.

He analysed almost 2 million accidents in the workplace, with the co-operation of around 300 companies, before drawing some interesting conclusions. May I introduce you to the Frank Bird Triangle...

The Frank Bird Triangle

Bird based his findings in the form of a pyramid which showed that for every major injury, or illness, there were:
  • 10 minor injuries or illnesses, which resulted in lost time as well. Examples here include an employee cutting his hand which requires stitches or an employee developing occupational asthma due to chemicals or dust exposure;
  • 30 property-damage incidents, with no injuries involved; and
  • 600 incidents where there is no visible injury or damage. These are referred to 'near misses', and could result in lost time trying to sort out the issue. Examples are small but consistent exposure to chemicals and/or dust which does not show any symptoms immediately or employees skidding on wet tiles but not actually falling.
What can you learn from this model?


Avoid making the biggest mistake employers make when conducting their incident investigations
If you miss just one point in your incident investigation, COID will deny your compensation claim.
And worse, if the DoL asks for your report, and you can't give him one, you'll be facing criminal prosecution too.
So don't take chances. Make sure you and your investigation team knows how to properly investigate all accident and incidents at your workplace.
Here's how
If you manage incidents at the base of the triangle, namely the incidents where there's no visible loss (600), then you'll have a much healthier and safer work environment as opposed to merely managing incidents after there's actual loss.

In other words, take a preventative approach to incidents in the workplace instead of reactive approach. This can be done by dealing with the 'base incidents' (600) of the Frank Bird Triangle.

By following the Bird Triangle, you can effectively manage safety in the workplace. Doing so can lead to a much safer and healthier workplace, which will, in turn, lead to greater productivity and fewer complications due to unnecessary incidents in the workplace.  

To find out more on the Bird Triangle, as well on managing incidents in the workplace, subscribe to the Health and Safety Advisor:

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