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An accident is defined in different ways:

  • An unforeseen event, often resulting in injury
  • An unplanned and uncontrolled event, which has led to or could have caused injury or ill health to persons, damage to plant or other loss
  • Or it can be, a deviation from the normal, the expected or the planned, usually resulting in injury.

Accidents can be caused by human factors like lack of knowledge, lack of concentration, horseplay or lack of capability; occupational factors like manual handling, use of equipment like ladders or tools and by using hazardous chemicals and the third cause is environmental factors like safe entry and exit areas, safe flooring, space to work, noise, heating, lighting and rest areas

There are a lot of rules and legislation but accidents still happen. This can be due to unplanned events, inadequate management and cost savings. Businesses need to have robust policies and procedures in place and continually reviewed to reduce accents happening.

The accident triangle is a way of showing the representation between near misses, minor accidents and serious accidents.

For every major disabling injury in the workplace, there are 7 less serious injuries requiring first aid or time off work and 189 near misses. The accident triangle shows the importance of reporting near misses as this increases the chance of reducing the risk of more serious incidents and accidents.

Reporting this information is only one part of accident reduction, management needs to analyse and act on these reports to implement changes.