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Anticipate Accidents

​This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.

One of the key words in accident prevention is “anticipate." By anticipating what could happen, it is possible to take safety steps to prevent an accident.

One of the steps we can take is to investigate all near miss accidents. We should always be on the lookout for unsafe practices and accidents that do not result in injury. Injury analyses prove that, in the average case, for every mishap resulting in an injury there are many other similar accidents that cause no injuries.

So we see that accidents do not have to result in injury. But, they are strong indications that something is wrong. If not addressed in time, they may result in a major lost-time injury.

We know that accidents without personal injury, however minor they may be, occur frequently. They have the same causes as personal injury accidents, which are expensive and add to the cost of projects. These accidents can be prevented in the same ways as accidents without injury.

Preventing these accidents is important. When an accidental injury does occur, unsafe practices probably had previously been committed. There probably had also been previous narrow escapes. If you stumble, fall, and sustain an injury, chances are that this was not the first time that you stumbled and fell or the first time you just stumbled.

How many times do we have to have a narrow miss before we get the message? If we really believe in safety and want to avoid personal injury, one near miss should be enough. Near misses or no-injury accidents, as well as injuries, must all be investigated.

Report all accidents to your supervisor. If you do not, eventually the law of averages will catch up with you — changing that near miss into a serious injury.

Let’s try and anticipate what could happen by being aware of near misses and reporting them. In this way we all can play a big part in preventing accidents.

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