No one wants to be hurt on the job. We all want to go home safely. And, when we think of OSHA we often think of unsafe work conditions. But unsafe work conditions make up less than 10% of all workplace accidents. Most accidents in the workplace occur from unsafe acts.
WHAT IS AN UNSAFE ACT?
An unsafe act is any action by an employee that is different than what is recognized as a safe operating practice. This can be many things, from wearing the wrong footwear to not following procedures, to using machines that might be faulty. Unsafe acts can also include showing up to work fatigued, being frustrated and acting rashly, and even falling into complacency with your duties, especially when they are repetitive. Not staying hydrated, performing tasks that you have yet to be trained to do and rushing through your assignments are also unsafe acts. In all of these, the main factor is you.
TYPES OF INCIDENTS
There are many examples of unsafe acts that happen every day. Most of them are due to human error. For example, not wearing a hard hat the right way, or not drinking enough water when working outside. Other unsafe acts include using a machine that is broken or using a machine the wrong way. These may seem like simple things, but it is these overlooked errors that can lead to dangerous consequences. Remember, the key to safety is you.
UNSAFE ACTS PREVENTION
Virtually all unsafe acts can be avoided by paying attention and following procedures and protocol. If you are ever unsure of something, ask a supervisor. Do not hesitate to point out areas of concern or pieces of equipment you feel might be unsafe. Stay in close communication with your coworkers and listen to their concerns as well. Remember, most unsafe acts are caused by employees acting in an unsafe manner, not the environment itself. It is important to always show up to work well-rested, well-fed, and ready to pay attention. If you do not feel competent in your job or feel the need to take time off, discuss this with your supervisor.