Understanding workplace safety and accident prevention really all comes down to context. Even though it might be somewhat easy to blame human error for the root cause of most workplace accidents, that’s really just the beginning. With further investigation, you’re likely to uncover many factors that contribute workplace accidents. The human factor, while not the cause of workplace accidents, is the key to finding out how workers’ actions are influenced by other aspects of the workplace.
When you evaluate interactions between all the elements of the workplace — people, workplaces and management systems — it makes understanding the worker’s decision at the time of the accident more clear. Once you know what guides workers’ decisions and actions, you have the ability to put into place preventative measures to keep similar workplace accidents from happening again.
The Interaction Of Human Factors
Let’s examine the interaction of three human factors: people, workplaces and management. Any reasonable number of the elements listed under each individual human factor has the potential to contribute to workplace accidents, creating a vast range of reasons for why accidents occur in the workplace.
- Body Size
- Stress, etc.
- Facility layout
- Workstation configuration
- Accessibility, etc.
- Warning systems
- Ease of use, etc.
- Chemical exposure, etc.
Systems Organizations Management
- Organizations of work
- Management decisions, etc.
- Work schedule
- Task design
- Job requirements, etc.
- Communication (written or oral)
- Signs, etc.
As you may now see, there are a lot of factors that, when added together, lead workers to act in ways that make sense to them based on the resources and knowledge available. These factors are portions of a larger whole that are the workplace system.
It can be difficult to manage and account for all of these factors in your injury prevention efforts, and often companies end up taking a reactive approach.
By relying on month-end reporting and other lagging indicators, you can see what happened after the fact but cannot actively work to prevent injuries.
But what if you could take a proactive approach to injury prevention? New technology from Arbill, utilizes predictive analytics and gives you the ability to identify at-risk individuals and departments throughout your organization.