A hazard is a condition or changing set of circumstances that presents a potential for injury, illness, or property damage. The potential or inherent characteristics of an activity, condition, or circumstance which can produce adverse or harmful consequences.
An accident is defined as an unfortunate event often the result of carelessness or ignorance. An unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance usually resulting in an unfavorable outcome.
Key words to note in these definitions are unplanned, unforeseen, unfortunate, unfavorable, and most importantly, potential.
For an unplanned or unforeseen event to take place, there must be potential. Complacency and taking things for granted cause many injuries each year. Everyone is responsible to recognize hazards and take action to prevent injury.
So, as you begin work, ask yourself:
- Do I have the right tools/equipment for the job?
- Have I inspected my tools/equipment to ensure they are in good operating condition and repair, or am I trying to get by?
- Is the work laid out to provide safe completion of the job?
- Are the materials I am using safe, and do I need additional PPE such as glasses, gloves, hard hat, etc.?
- Is there a safer way to accomplish the task?
- Are all necessary equipment guards in place?
- Are written procedures, such as lockout/tagout being followed?
Always remain aware of potential hazards and make careful choices to stay safer on the job.