Last updated: May 5, 2017

What Does Fatality Mean?

A fatality is the death of human caused by an accident, or is the quality of the disaster being able to cause the death of a human(s). Fatality in the context of occupational health and safety is a death caused by an accident at the workplace, on the way to and from the workplace, or during other works or movements directly or indirectly related to the occupation.

Safeopedia Explains Fatality

Every year many people lose their lives due to accidents in the workplace or due to occupationally related causes. Sometimes, more than one person dies in a single disaster. Most common fatalities are accidents caused by electrocutions, power tools, unguarded machines, burns, vehicles, leakage of toxic chemicals, fire incidents, falls, choking and building or structural collapses, etc.. Effective safety management is able to reduce fatalities at the workplace by ensuring a hierarchy of controls. It can be achieved through following actions in a descending order starting with the most effective at the top:

  • Elimination – by completely eliminating the equipment or process
  • Substitution – by substituting the equipment or process
  • Modification – by modifying the equipment or process
  • Confinement – by confining the equipment within a boundary not accessible to all
  • Administrative practices – by isolating, locking, restricting the availability, marking the danger, putting notices and warnings or positive control on the use of equipment and materials
  • Personal protective equipment – by ensuring the employees use personal protective equipment (PPE)

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