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How to minimise incidents and improve safety culture in the workplace

December 01, 2020

How to minimise incidents and improve safety culture in the workplace

Incidents and accidents can be caused by a series of circumstances or factors, each of which may be a partial cause of the event but not the whole cause.

It is important to note that all incidents are caused and should not be considered as "bad luck", a "freak event" or "a random act of nature". 

Whether or not an injury occurs, we should investigate all incidents to understand the chain of events which caused the incident.

The most common contributing factors to incidents are:

  • faulty planning of work processes
  • poor work practices
  • poor housekeeping
  • poor plant and equipment maintenance
  • inadequate risk assessment
  • inadequate training of personnel for the task
  • inadequate supervision
  • human factors such as stress, fatigue, lack of situational awareness, error or inappropriate behavior
  • environmental conditions such as weather (heat, rain, cold. etc.) or time of day (night, day, end of shift, etc.)

Only through asking key questions will you be able to identify the contributing factors to an incident.  Once you have identified the contributing factors it is important to consult your workers to identify safer ways to perform the work activity in the future and therefore save someone else from a potential injury.

Developing an excellent safety culture that includes your workers in developing safe work practices and are trained in identifying contributing factors will provide a safe workplace where workers can return home safe and healthy every day.

To learn more about safety culture please visit Safety culture and leadership by Professor Patrick Hudson | Safe Work Australia 



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