Is being accident-prone fact or fiction?


Risk Management Roundup

Would you call yourself or someone you know “accident prone?” While the whole notion of being naturally susceptible to mishaps and injuries is debatable, on-the-job injuries have a number of recognized causes.

Stress, fatigue, job dissatisfaction, emotion, and personal problems create short-term or isolated situations that can result in chance accidents. But other factors related to day-to-day operations are more likely to cause accidents. Concentrate on this type of hazard to help protect yourself and your coworkers. 

Physical overload is the result of:

  • lifting improperly
  • straining
  • overreaching
  • bending
  • twisting
  • other movements that make your body move in ways it wasn’t designed

Avoid these types of injuries by using proper techniques. Don’t lift loads beyond your capability. Lifting or reaching tasks that require you to be in an unnatural or uncomfortable position should prompt you to reposition yourself to avoid strain, ask for assistance, or use mechanical help.

Impact injuries occur when someone hits or is hit by an object. An acute awareness of your surroundings will go a long way toward helping prevent this type of accident. Avoid walking under surfaces where work is being performed to stay out of the landing zones of falling objects. If being in such an area is unavoidable, wear personal protective equipment — hard hats, gloves, eye protection, rugged clothing, etc.

If you are driving a vehicle or piece of heavy equipment on a job site, keep your attention on the activity happening all around you. If walking through a site where vehicles or heavy equipment are being used, stay out of their paths. Proper awareness from all parties on a site is critical to avoid impact injuries. 

Falls are a common cause of injury

  • Make sure your footing is firm when on a raised surface, such as a platform or ladder
  • Wear slip-resistant shoes
  • Work at a pace that allows you to exercise proper safety techniques
  • Clear obstructions and make sure walkways are well lit
  • Follow all safety guidelines for using ladders and scaffolds
  • Use handrails on stairs

Machine accidents are caused by moving parts

  • Never use a machine on which you’re not trained.
  • Never wear jewelry or loose clothing around machines that rotate, slide, press, etc. Use head-wear to control long hair.
  • Be sure guards and shields are in place, and proper lockout procedures are used.

Always watch what you’re doing, where you’re going, and what’s happening around you. Doing so can help you eliminate worksite injuries, which will help you and others be safe at work.

Article Written By Jerry Leemkuil

JERRY LEEMKUIL is a field manager for Association Risk Management Services, Federated Insurance Company. For information, write to Jerry at or call 1-507-455-5507.

This article is for general information and risk prevention only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. The recommendations herein may help reduce but are not guaranteed to eliminate, any or all risk of loss. The information herein may be subject to and is not a substitute for, any laws or regulations that may apply. Qualified counsel should be sought with questions specific to your circumstances. © 2020 Federated Mutual Insurance Company.


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