By: Mr. Gary Hanson, President of American Safety & Health Management Consultants, Inc.

Our company gets involved in conducting Accident Investigations for many serious accidents. In almost every case, the cause or causes could have been identified before the accidents and prevented. When we work with client companies, we focus on identifying the likely type of accidents that could take place and then develop an Action Plan to prevent these.

The process starts with identifying the various hazards employees are exposed to. This differs from company to company depending on the tasks employees perform, but there are common hazards such as:
* Slips, Trips & Falls
* Equipment Hazards
* Hand Exposures
* Strain & Sprains
* Chemical Exposures

Each of the above is reviewed to determine the possibility and potential severity.

The Action Plan is developed to address what can be done to reduce each type of hazard, The Action Plan includes the following steps:
* Development of Safe Work Procedures
* Eliminating hazards and exposures where possible.
* Providing employee training in hazard avoidance.
* Providing proper Personal Protective Equipment.
* Conducting regular performance observations to ensure employees are following safe work practices.
* Getting employees involved so any changes in the process can be incorporated without resistance.
* Providing assistance as necessary.
* Eliminating reasons that prevent safe work practices
* Conducting regular inspections of the work area and correcting unsafe conditions.
* Enforcing safe work procedures strictly.

Each of the above are important steps to eliminating accident potentials.

Once the steps are in place, the process needs to be monitored closely and updated as needed.

If you implement the above steps as an ongoing continuous project or program, it will go a long way in reducing unnecessary injuries. Preventing an accident from happening is always the best option. I always prefer the above process to getting a call that some employee wouldn’t be going home tonight.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your Safety Program, please call me at 1-800-356-1274.

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