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Supervisor Talk: What you can do to help prevent accidents

Have you ever wondered what you can do to help prevent accidents? Maybe you think that accidents just happen and that you can’t do anything about it. Or, maybe you think that accidents only happen to someone else. Well, the truth is accidents happen to everyone. Oftentimes, they can be prevented.

Something to think about

Here’s something to think about. Statistics show that, in many cases, the victim could have prevented the accident. And, in other cases, a co-worker could have helped to prevent it. Think of accidents that have happened to people you know. Many times the accident was the result of something that could have been prevented, either an unsafe behavior or something unsafe in the environment.

Seven helpful suggestions

Here are seven things you can do to help prevent accidents:

  1. Make accident prevention a part of your daily routine: plan for safety in advance. Before beginning a task, be sure your tools and equipment are in good condition. Also, check that you have the required protective equipment.
  2. Report unsafe acts or conditions to your supervisor. If you observe something that’s dangerous or see someone working in an unsafe manner, do something about it. If it’s a dangerous condition, correct it if you can. Otherwise, report it to someone who has the authority or ability to do so. If you see someone committing a risky act, warn that person in a friendly way.
  3. Avoid horseplay. Aren’t you always telling your kids to stop fooling around before someone gets hurt?  Well, horseplay is dangerous for “kids” of any age. At work, you can easily be injured if you’re not acting strictly business all of the time. A person can be killed or hurt when a “harmless” prank or a practical joke backfires.
  4. Follow instructions: You would follow instructions if you were dismantling a bomb — and very carefully at that. Well, take the same attitude when on the job. When supervisors give you instructions, it’s only after they’ve considered the safest and best way to do it. Sometimes doing something just a little different from what you were told can get you or someone else into trouble.
  5. Make suggestions: If you see a faster or better way to do something, let your supervisor know. They can check it out and if it’s practical, use it. But first they’ll have to make sure it’s safe. And if you see a safer way of doing something, also bring it to someone’s attention.
  6. Practice good housekeeping: Clutter and messy work areas not only look bad, but can be a cause for accidents. Trash and materials strewn around can result in trips or falls and even add to the fire load in the event of a fire. 
  7. Dress for the job: In addition to wearing protective equipment, dress so you won’t get hurt. Don’t wear clothing that can catch on something or become entangled in machinery, such as sleeves with cuffs or dangling jewelry.

Travelers Risk Control has a number of Supervisor Talks available in English and Spanish on a variety of topics. Log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal, click on Advanced Search and choose “Training – Supervisor Talk” under “Resource Type.”

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