7 questions to find root of accidents

by on May 17, 2011 · 2 Comments POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

Looking for some questions to help you find the root cause of accidents?

If so, consider these seven questions from Bob Button of Safety Results, Inc., who spoke at the recent American Society of Safety Engineers Conference.

    • Was this an acute or cumulative injury? An acute injury is a one-time event – you’ll look for processes to change. A cumulative injury occurs over time – in that case, you may want to recommend ergonomics or giving workers better tools to reduce wear and tear.


    • What forces were involved? This includes weight, speed of impact, and contact stress (e.g, a knee injury from working on a cold, pebbled floor).


    • Was posture a factor? Awkward and unbalanced postures can stress the body, either during a one-time event or over time.


    • Was fatigue a factor? Fatigue can include working long hours, repeating the same motions or remaining in one place too long. Also, consider off-hours factors, such as not getting enough sleep at night.


    • Was environment a factor? Workstation configuration is a factor, as well as extreme heat or cold, which can contribute to injuries (cold magnifies carpal tunnel and tendinitis).


    • What’s the worker’s physical condition? Look for the following: Poor physical condition, previous history of injury, and in some cases, disease (e.g., there’s a close correlation between carpal tunnel and diabetes).


    • Was there unsafe behavior? This is often the first question anyone asks – but consider the others first, to make sure you’ve done a thorough investigation.


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2 Comments on This Post

  1. May 31, 2011 - 6:59 am

    The most common workplace illnesses are cancers from exposure to
    hazardous substances, musculoskeletal diseases, and respiratory diseases
    caused by exposure to pathogens, and hearing loss.  Asbestos-related
    disease such as lung cancer and asbestosis caused by inhalation of
    asbestos are also common.  Workplace illnesses pose a greater problem
    because you may not have symptoms until years after the damage was
    caused.  You may no longer work for that employer and they may attempt
    to argue that the cause of the disease was elsewhere.

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