How to Prevent Accidents

Learning Objective 3

  • Explain how to prevent accidents at work.

In practice, accident prevention boils down to: (1) reducing unsafe conditions and (2) reducing unsafe acts. In large firms, the chief safety officer (often called the “environmental health and safety officer”) is responsible for this. 55 In smaller firms, managers (including those from human resources, plant management, and first-line managers) share these responsibilities.

Reduce Unsafe Conditions

Reducing unsafe conditions is always an employer’s first line of defense in accident prevention. Safety engineers should first design jobs to remove or reduce physical hazards. For example, slippery floors in commercial kitchens often cause slips and falls. ...

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