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An accident is any unplanned event that results in personal injury or in property damage. The cause of most accidents is the failure of people, equipment, supplies, or surroundings to behave or react as expected.

Accident Investigation

An accident investigation determines how and why accidents occur. The investigation will lead to the cause(s) of the accident. By eliminating one or more causes, most accidents are preventable.

Accident Prevention

Information obtained from an accident investigation is used to help prevent future accidents from happening. Accident prevention is also accomplished by conducting work safety inspections, reporting unsafe conditions, providing training and performing regular "check ups" on equipment and tools.

What Can You Do to Prevent Accidents?

1. Report Any Unsafe or Potentially Hazardous Conditions to:
a. Your supervisor/boss

b. Your Environmental Health and Safety Office (Wash. U. or BJH/SLCH)

c. Or, take care of it yourself, it could be as easy as closing a file cabinet drawer so no one trips over it, keeping your work area clean, labeling hazards in the workplace etc.

2.Make Sure the Equipment, Tools or Machines You Use Are:

a. In good working order

b. Have machine guards in place

c. Are certified or maintained on a regular basis

d. Used properly and safely by yourself and others

3.Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

a. Know what type of PPE to wear, for example, you need to know the proper type of glove for the work you do and the materials you work with.

b. Know the proper way to wear your PPE for maximum protection.

c. Know how to take care of your PPE and perform regular inspections to check for holes in gloves or protective clothing, tears in respirators, chemical saturation etc. If your job requires you to wear a respirator for protection, you need to be fit tested annually to ensure proper fit and protection.

1. Ensure workers attend Annual Safety Training

a. Office Staff

b. Laboratory Staff

c. Clinical Staff

d. Facilities Management Staff (divisions)

In each training session, accident prevention topics are discussed.

1. Use Caution When Your Work Environment Changes:

Just like you know you should use more caution when you are driving in the rain, you should use more caution when your work environment changes as well. Beating deadlines, lack of sleep, being required to do something new with little or no training etc. All these factors can lead to an accident because of carelessness, lack of training/knowledge or rushing to get something done. We’ve all been there and a lot of us have had accidents because of these factors. Next time you find yourself in this situation, take the time to think about what you are doing and how you can be safe so you don’t cause an accident.

Please do all you can to prevent accidents and make this a Happy and Safe New Year!

If you need help with your Safety Initiatives contact one of our Safety Specialists.

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