What Does Accident Prevention Mean: A Practical Guide That Can Make Your Workplace Safer

what does accident prevention mean

What does accident prevention mean?

Accident prevention are measures that are planned and implemented to minimise injuries or deaths caused by hazards in a specific environment. It involves a commitment to safety and effective risk management utilising reliable protective strategies. Moreover, accident prevention is a form of risk control that focuses on understanding and reducing, if not eliminating, dangers or hazards.

According to Verge, safety in the workplace is paramount because “everyone deserves to return home safely from work.”

According to SafeWork Australia:

  • work-related accidents and injury cost roughly $61.8 billion a year, with an average cost of $5000 for each worker annually
  • this equates to 4.1% of Australia’s gross domestic product
  • more than 5000 people are injured in accidents involving workplace transport
  • additionally, the most common cause of workplace accidents are as follows:
  • people being struck by a vehicle
  • people falling
  • objects falling from a vehicle
  • or vehicles overturning

This information can certainly make you think twice of the safety of your workplace, the effectiveness of risk reduction management, and the existing occupational hazards in your organisation.

What does accident prevention mean in the workplace?

Accident prevention means providing a workplace that is free from recognised physical, chemical or biological and environmental hazards that can cause serious harm or death. Workplace safety follows safety and health standards geared toward protecting the welfare of people at work.

newcastle warehouse accident prevention

What does accident prevention mean for employees?

Employees need to comply with rules, regulations, work policies, procedures, and practices, as well as conform with safety and health standards set by the organisation. Moreover, the employees should warn the employer or organisation on newly recognised hazards that can result in accidents, illness or injury.

Non-compliance can lead to higher costs and liabilities that your insurance alone may not cover. Worse, workplace accidents or incidents impact business operations significantly. Thus, safety compliance should be a priority for all employees and organisations.

Basic safety rules to workplace accident prevention

  • Recognise/anticipate hazards – think like a leader or safety champion and find out what can cause harm.
  • Think through each job before you begin – assess risks as necessary.
  • Comply with safety procedure, policies, and rules – for risks with known controls, compliance with safety measures are a must.
  • Avoid taking short cuts – implementing fast-track processes that can compromise safety, and disregarding known effective control measures can cost expensive damage or lead to accidents or loss of lives.
  • Emergency plans or medical treatment should be promptly sought if an accident or injury occurs.
  • Report the accident/incident to your supervisor.

The truth about accidents and prevention

Writer Denise Brown believes that “a safe work environment is a productive one.” Safety measures or workplace safety systems aim to protect employees as well as equipment and business property. Eliminating or minimising accidents, injuries, and damage to personnel, facilities and equipment will result in fewer expenses and better profit for any business.

accident prevention in newcastle workplace

Strategies for accident prevention

According to Safety Barriers Sydney, organisations should practice proven strategies for accident prevention and safety promotion at the workplace. These include 4 simple steps:

1. Ensuring Safety

  • Rather than acting after an accident or injury happens in the workplace, it is best to focus on preventing harm minimisation. For instance, personnel training for a high-risk job is crucial for the safety of workers.
  • Employers must give their workers’ training, instruction, information or supervision to protect them from all forms of workplace health and safety risks.
  • In Australia, there are laws about instruction, information, and training that employers must provide to help personnel remain healthy and safe in the workplace.
  • Employers could utilise hazard symbols or hazard safety signs for the effective prevention of untoward accidents.

2. Ensuring a Safe System of Work

  • To avoid overlooking health and safety issues, the management needs to adopt a systematic approach to managing accident prevention and workplace safety. An established program or plan can be an integral part of this management which should involve the top to frontline level managers and supervisors.
  • A safe system of work refers to the complete set of methods being adopted to carry out operations. This covers all aspects of the employment situation such as the organisation of work processes, methods of utilising machinery, equipment and plant, processes of hiring labour, workplace training, supervision and instruction on associated hazards and management, and especially, what to do when accidents happen, or when things go wrong.

3. Identifying High-Risk Work

  • For jobs with a high risk of accident or injury, some form of workplace safety analysis should be undertaken to review that all necessary safeguards are put in place.
  • All types of work should carry a description and safe system of work for the specific task.
  • The operators and personnel should be trained in the safe system of work before taking on the position.
  • Some examples of high-risk work types include the following: forklift operation, cranes and hoists, rigging and dogging, scaffolding, reach stackers, and pressure equipment.

4. Monitoring and Review

  • Risk assessment and risk controls should be periodically reviewed. Monitoring and review may be particularly necessary when situations change as a result of introducing new hazards, processes, or machinery
  • This may also apply when there are new personnel, legislation, or novel information on hazardous processes or substances.
  • The risk assessment only needs to be revised when significant changes have taken place since the last risk assessment was done. Post-accident or post-incident risk assessments should be done when an accident or series of minor incidents have taken place that gives a good reason for a review of the prior risk assessment.

Final Note: An Invitation to Safety

Effective accident prevention involves proactive planning and action by the management and should be of utmost priority.

Whether you are from a hospital, production area, food industry, warehouse, freight terminal or loading dock setting, and feel that your workplace lacks accident prevention tools and strategies, it is crucial to think safety first before the worst accidents happen.

For high risk workplaces needing a combination of robust, high visibility barriers to prevent the four common causes of accidents (people being struck by a vehicle, people falling, objects falling from a vehicle, or vehicles overturning), check out these workplace safety products, safety barriers and protectors that could save the lives of your personnel and avoid expensive work-related expenses. 

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