What Causes Accidents?

Learning Objective 2

  • Explain in detail three basic causes of accidents.

There are three basic causes of workplace accidents: chance occurrences, unsafe conditions, and employees’ unsafe acts. Chance occurrences (such as walking past a tree just when a branch falls) are more or less beyond management’s control. We will therefore focus on unsafe conditions and unsafe acts.

Unsafe Working Conditions

Unsafe conditions are one main cause of accidents. These include:

  • Faulty scaffolds

  • Improperly guarded equipment

  • Frayed wiring

  • Unsafe storage, such as overloading

  • Improper illumination

  • Improper ventilation

The basic remedy here is to eliminate or minimize the unsafe conditions. OSHA standards address potential problems like ...

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