Kapat Ikon
Significance Of Awareness in Prevention of Occupational Accidents

We discuss and write such much that occupational accidents are not accidents but murder. Let’s sit and think about the concepts calmly a little. I wonder if we may settle the concepts.

98% of occupational accidents and 100% of occupational disease may be prevented and 88% of accidents are associated with unsafe behaviors (unsafe actions) of people and 10% of them are associated with unsafe acts (unsafe conditions) and 2% of them are caused by unpreventable reasons according to the Domino Theory defined in 1930s.

The below is written on the external façade of a plant where a great fire occurred;

I failed to see, failed to think, I know, I am in a hurry!

It is may be one of the last things to say “Workers are not trained and do not use the personal protective equipment provided by us” for a safe working in risky working environments because making the environment safe is the most important matter in the hierarchy for prevention of risks for the occupational safety specialists.

The following issues must be emphasized, respectively, for it.

1. Risks must be eliminated in dangerous works. If it is not possible to eliminate dangerous works, the method for mitigating risks must be applied.

2. Use of personal protective equipment must be ensured. However, it should be emphasized once more that the personal protective equipment is not the main heading in prevention of occupational accidents and occupational diseases.

3. Workers must be trained in their works. Training and personal protective equipment may be said to be important after performing all actions listed above. For instance, a worker working in welding robot must work in a welding robot having ventilation with the welding light isolated from the worker after which he must be audited to find if he has personal protective equipment  and if he complies with the occupational safety rules.

4. Employees must take active role in the occupational safety activities through incentives of employers. “Awareness” is the key word to enable employers to take technical measures and to enable workers to display safe behaviors. When the occupational safety culture is instilled in employer and employees, we may eliminate the most important dangerous behavior called as operational blindness. When the state and occupational safety professionals raise awareness in employers and employees in respect of significance of occupational safety and employers support occupational safety professionals in their activities, we may minimize occupational accidents in the short term and reduce them to zero, being our target, in the long term.

Well, are you aware? Are you aware of the risks which may give damage to you or your colleagues in your working environment? Look around not as an operational blind but as a conscious person. Be aware of risks. Do not pay for our health, let’s be aware.

Erhan TURAN

Class C Occupational Safety Specialist

   
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