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Eskom accident highlights the importance of taking steps to prevent accidents

by , 05 November 2013
Accidents don't come with a warning sign. They can happen to anyone, at anytime! Last week's accident at an Eskom site near Ladysmith is proof of that. While this may be the case, there are certain steps you can take to prevent accidents from happening. Read on to find out what they are...

According to News24, six men died on Friday last week in an accident at an Eskom site. Of the six fatalities, four were foreign nationals, the other two were South Africans.

According to reports, the men were doing welding and grouting on a platform in one of four tunnels when the platform came loose and rolled down the tunnel. All 3 387 workers on site were evacuated.

Eskom has said the site will be closed until its declared safe.

This tragic accident has cast the spotlight on safety in the workplace and on the importance of taking steps to reduce accidents.

Here's a checklist of 15 things you must do to prevent accidents from happening:

  1. Do a proper and comprehensive risk assessment and involve all employees by asking them about their daily jobs and what they consider to be a risk.
  2. Do a task safety analysis on all medium to high risk work (mini risk assessment on each task)
  3. Develop and implement safe working procedures for medium to high risk tasks.
  4. Make a list of the safety rules (dos and don'ts) from your safe work procedure.
  5. Develop safety talks on specific tasks that could result in harm or loss.
  6. Train your employees on the hazards and risks identified and make sure they understand and know how to protect themselves.
  7. Do monthly inspections of your workplace.
  8. Do monthly inspections of your tools, equipment and machinery.
  9. Train your employees to do daily inspections on their tools and equipment before they use them.
  10. Ensure your supervisors and safety reps do monthly inspections on the tools and equipment in their work area.
  11. Ensure your supervisors and safety reps do daily visual inspections by walking through their work area at least three times a day (housekeeping and safety rules).
  12. Ensure your supervisors do a pre-task risk assessment before work starts in the morning or before hazardous work is done.
  13. Do regular planned task observations to make sure your employees are still working according to your procedures and safety rules (at least every three to six months). Also you're your employees to observe each other so they can point out unsafe acts.
  14. Investigate all incidents and accidents to find the causes so you can correct problems.
  15. Do regular internal audits (at least every six months). You must check the content of your procedures, training and safety talks to make sure they're still valid.

While accidents are inevitable, doing the above mentioned things could go a long way in helping you reduce accidents like the one that happened at an Eskom site.

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