How often have you had an accident in the past year? Have injuries happened to you more often than to your co-workers?
If so, do you really know what caused each of those incidents? It’s human nature to find excuses when we make a mistake or do something wrong. We tend to look for reasons outside ourselves when something bad happens to us. But if we don’t understand what has caused our problems, how can we keep them from happening again?
The majority of workers perform their jobs without injury, while some individuals seem to have more than their share of mishaps. Some people call this being “accident prone,” assuming that accidents are a pretty much a matter of luck. But most accidents don’t just happen; they are the result of what people do—or fail to do. They are usually caused by a personal decision. In the case of being “accident prone,” that decision usually has to do with whether the injured person
understands, believes in, and follows safe work behavior.
If that so-called “accident prone” person describes you, then for your own sake, and for the safety of your co-workers, you need to find honest answers to the following questions:
· What is your attitude toward safety? Do you believe you have a responsibility to protect yourself—or do you somehow think it’s the duty of your employer, your co-workers, or someone else?
· Do you follow safety guidelines and use appropriate personal protective gear, or do you figure you are somehow protected without them? Other people might need rules and safety equipment, but not you!
· Do you report to work clear headed, after having had enough sleep? Or do you come to work fuzzy headed, and work with tools and equipment that can hurt you if you aren’t alert. Fatigue has a big effect on coordination end performance, and is a major factor in accidents and injuries.
· Do you know your physical limits, and do you work within those limits? There are many times when people aren’t fully prepared for a demanding job—after a vacation or layoff period, when beginning a new, tough project, or when they’ve put on a few “years” and gained skill, but lost endurance.
These are some of the questions you should honestly ask yourself. When you have an accident, look hard at your behavior and the choices you made, before thinking about blaming “fate” or anyone else. After all, you are the one who suffered, and you are often the only one who could have prevented your injury and pain.
Don’t let yourself be a “victim!” Decide to work safe and be safe—take control of what happens to you.