Dos and Don'ts for Mishaps and Accidents

For accidents, one time is bad enough. But when the same incident or mishap occur over and over, you should act quickly and decisively to put a stop to the mistakes that lead to the repeated problem

So, What can you do to stop employees from making the same mistakes that lead to repeat mishaps?

 

Do:

         Set a goal. Without a specific intention to eliminate repeat accidents, positive results may be elusive.

 

Don't

         Send mixed messages. Everyone needs to know that you take each accident seriously and that preventing the same kind of incident from happening again is a top priority.

 

Do:

         Determine the steps toward this goal. Steps might include increased awareness, additional training, stepped up supervisory oversight, changes in procedures or equipment, etc.

 

 

Don't

         Use discipline without also offering help. When safety rules are broken, discipline may be required. But even then, make sure that there's a positive element as well and that supervisors help poor safety performers improve.

 

Do:

         Communicate priorities clearly. Make sure employees understand the goal, the steps required to reach it, and how important it is to eliminate repeat accidents.

 

 

Don't

         Lecture. Employees don't respond well to this method. It often goes in one ear and out the other. Lecturing also turns employees into passive receptors rather than engaging them actively in their own safety performance.

 

Do:

         Promote an accident-free culture. Encourage employees to participate in safety programs and become actively involved in reducing accident risks.

 

 

Don't

         Blame. Even if an employee makes a mistake, blame won't solve the problem. The issue should be why the employee made the mistake and how to fix that so he or she doesn't repeat a mistake that leads to another accident.

 

Do:

         Recognize and reinforce safe performance. Use a variety of incentives and rewards to improve safety performance.

 

 

Don't

         Assume the worst. Expect the best and that's usually what you'll get, even from employees with poor safety performance histories.

 

Do:

         Emphasize hazard detection, and encourage hazard reporting.

 

 

Don't

         Give empty pep talks. Actions speak louder than words, so back up encouraging words by making real safety improvements and offers of assistance and support.