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Accident Prevention

Last updated: July 23, 2018

What Does Accident Prevention Mean?

Accident prevention refers to the plans, preparations, and actions taken to avoid accidents or stop them from taking place.

Accident prevention includes all measures taken in an effort to save lives, escape from injury, lessen the degrees of injury, avoid damage to property, reduce treatment and compensation costs, and prevent the loss of productive time and morale.

Safeopedia Explains Accident Prevention

The old proverb that "an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure" holds true for workplace accidents. It is much better to prevent an adverse event from happening than to try to fix the damage after it has already happened.

While it's impossible for employers to predict every single accident, it is their duty to anticipate that accidents will happen and put control measurse in place to prevent them or lessen the damage they cause. They have a legal obligation to comply with the laws, standard practices, and safety observations to avoid emergencies and accidents.

Many accidents occur due to human factors, such as:

  • Unsafe behavior
  • Inattention
  • Negligence
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Inadequate training

Working conditions is another leading factor of accidents. Unsafe working conditions can include faulty machines, bad work design, substandard processes, and occupational hazards.

Accidents will continue to happen if preventative measures are not taken. Accident prevention can be achieved by commitment and cooperation between management, safety programs, safety culture, and accountability. Prevention requires the following actions:

  • Conducting a risk assessment to identify hazards
  • Using research and development to optimize work processes and eliminate hazards
  • Taking unsafe machinery and tools out of service immediately
  • Improving working conditions and the workplace environment
  • Ensuring all employees have the right training

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