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A Publication of WTVP

"All accidents are preventable,” I once heard a safety manager say to his employees. It sounds good on the surface, but is it really true? An accident, by definition, is “an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage or loss” or “such a happening resulting in injury that is in no way the fault of the injured person.” At IWIRC, we see injuries daily that fit these definitions, but we also see many that do not. We treat those who, for any number of reasons, were injured at work and now you—the employer—are stuck paying for the undesirable or unfortunate happening that was unintentional, but by no means unavoidable.

How do you know if the accident was unavoidable? Let’s look at a few simple questions that you can use as a guide that will begin to answer that question for you. If you answer “yes” to these, then what you have is not an accident, but an act of poor judgment or negligence by someone somewhere who could have prevented the undesirable or unfortunate happening.

From my years of experience treating, educating and consulting in industry, I’ve come to the conclusion that not all accidents are preventable—thus the term “accident”—but if you take care to prevent those that are, your company will be a lot more profitable and your employees will be happier. IBI

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