SAFETY - a STATE OF SAFETY may be said to exist when, in the event of an accident or incident, there is no chance of injury, illness or damage occurring.
(Some definitions include 'an accident-free' qualification. However, since there is a statistical indicator that says 97% of all accidents are avoidable, I prefer to have a 'state of safety' that allows for the 3% of accidents that may get past our anti-accident system!) Another, more personal, definition for safety is: The ability to take the next breath in the most beautiful and comfortable way possible...
The following three elements directly affect our 'STATE OF SAFETY', and a failure in any one of these opens the door for an accident and increases the potential for harm.
TASK: this is the work carried out, being carried out, or due to be carried out. It will have varying degrees of difficulty and demands on body and intellect. Tasks should be clearly defined and analysed for safety.
PERFORMER: the person carrying out the task(s). Their skills, knowledge, physical and mental capabilities (including age, strength, ability to communicate, flexibility, etc.). We must also consider effects on the body and mind of extended shift hours, drugs, etc.
ENVIRONMENT: many external factors are included in environmental issues: hazardous substances, atmospheric conditions, surfaces to be negotiated, animate and inanimate - visible and invisible - objects to be dealt with, mechanical and electrical fittings, noise and electro-magnetic radiation, and so on.
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