Service 1



By its very definition, an accident is an unknown quantity. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that we can study its causes and probable prevention.

Such studies reveal around 97% of accidents are preventable - very sobering figure, and one that must make us ask: So how do we stop the next one from realising itself?

If we paraphrase the above quote, we can say: Our system is only as good as the last hazard identified - we really have no absolute protection against the possibility of a hidden hazard becoming uncontrolled and striking us down...

For this reason, we have to consider the elements of time surrounding an accident:

BEFORE: The old motto of the Boy Scouts is needed here - "BE PREPARED".

"The greater the contained energy, the greater the potential for disaster."

Energy may be in the form of a large, mechanical structure such as a tower where four legs are supporting an enormous weight; it may be in the form of a gas contained in a cannister; or it may simply be a large group of people in a constricted space.

Preparedness is the willingness and ability to consider all the possibilities of what can go wrong in our workplace - known and unknown - and be ready to face them in as best a manner as possible. Though we may not know everything that can go wrong, we can probably have an idea of outcomes, and prepare for the contingencies we will face. For example, we can consider the following possibilities in our planning: